One of the key challenges faced by small-scale potato producers is access to clean “seed.” Because potato is vegetatively propagated, farmers usually plant small “seed” potatoes or pieces of potato to generate new plants.
Many rely on their own saved stock of potatoes to be used for planting or on informal production and trade of “seed” potatoes. This increases the risk that the seed stock will be substandard, with poor yields and potentially a carrier of pests or diseases, which are transferred from one generation to the next.
CIP works to develop and increase the availability of clean (free of pests or disease), more resistant, and higher yielding planting material that is adapted to local needs and preferences. One area of focus is to establish fast-track seed systems that link public and private sector seed production with on-farm multiplication and promote varietal dissemination.