Nderitu, J. H., Chebii, W, Wacira K (2020). TECHNICAL REPORT OF THE KIAMBOGO DEMO PLOTS IN KIENI HELD ON 24TH JULY 2020

TECHNICAL REPORT OF THE KIAMBOGO DEMO PLOTS IN KIENI HELD ON 24TH JULY 2020
Figure: A farmer in Kiambogo demo plot showing a potato variety susceptible to cold weather to Field
Officials dealing with a variety of curative and preventative chemicals (fungicides and pesticides).
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Purpose/objective of the demonstration
1. To demonstrate good agricultural practices of potato production
2. To demonstrate the importance of soil testing and application of required fertilizers
3. To compare and contrast various potato varieties based on performance, adaptability and
production
4. To demonstrate various types of chemicals that are necessary for a profitable potato industry
Presentations by the key speakers and trainers (summary)
1. Demonstration of the number of potato tubers per variety
Figure: A field instructor demonstrate the number of tubers per crop variety
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2. Distinction of potato varieties based on tuber colour and number of eyes
Figure : A field discriminating potato tubers in (a), (b), and (c) above based on colour and number.
A demonstration of the reddish potato tuber crop variety that clients need more familiarization and
a usher a break from a ubiquitous white tuber varieties.
Eunica variety produces reddish tuber and are propagated better using cuttings but limited by
production of few tubers. The red potato colour not common in the markets and easily labelled a
sweet potato. Eunica is also resistant to blight.
3. Showcase various chemicals important for potato production
The Chemical Field instructors explained the use of Dithane, Equation pro and other chemicals that
help prevent diseases and pests.
Figure: Field instructors demonstrating various chemicals suitable for potato farming.
(a)
(b) (c)
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4. Distinction of potatoes based on flower colour and structure
Figure: A demonstration of an excellent potato Shangi crop in the Kiambogo demonstration plots.
The local Wanjiko variety does not have conspicuous flowers unless a farmer is keen to notice short floral
segments. The variety has a higher tuber production per hole and dormancy lasts about 60 to 90 days.
Figure: Conspicuous floral morphology of the local variety Wanjiko composed of tiny florets.
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Achievements/outputs of the demonstration
I. Farmers were taught the importance of soil testing and appropriate fertilizers to apply
II. The need for applying potato specific fertilizers was emphasized
III. Farmers could distinguish potato varieties based on flower and tuber colour, number of
tubers and resistance to cold
IV. Farmers learnt to distinguish potato varieties based on dormancy
V. Shangi variety, a robust crop with its characteristic solanaceous purple flower is
resistant to cold, has good tuber population and dominates the market. However, there
is need for continual improvement. Unlike Eunica, Shangi has deep eyes and thus
result in more wastage after removing the outer tuber layer.
VI. Farmers learnt the importance of farm records so as to gauge profits and losses

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