New Publication Explores the Opportunities & Challenges of Potato Production in Ethiopia

A 2012 Ethiopian workshop on potato seed production provided CIP with a great opportunity to be involved in the development of a unique publication exploring trends in potato production.

As the world’s top non-grain food commodity, potato has an important role to play as a popular source of affordable food for the world’s growing urban populations. In Sub-Saharan Africa – and Ethiopia in particular – the potential of the potato crop is being researched by stakeholders keen to explore new opportunities for development.

With global production over the past two decades expanding rapidly, potato is increasingly a highly dependable food security crop. Potato also generates more employment in the farm economy than other crops, and serves as a source of cash income for low-income farm households.

However, despite these trends potato has long been regarded as a lowly subsistence crop and is still an underexploited food crop. Potato has huge potential to improve food security, income and human nutrition and it is in Ethiopia where the potential of this crop is increasingly being realized and explored by farmers, private investors, and policy makers. While, national average yields are still far below attainable yields, ample opportunities exist to unleash this crop’s potential for increased food security and income generation.

00-Group-Picture-Workshop-participantsIt was in this context, that the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), and the International Potato Center (CIP) held a National Workshop on Seed Potato Production and Dissemination in 2012 that provided a valuable platform to discuss future potato research and development priorities.

This new publication – Seed potatoes in Ethiopia: Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities – documents the papers presented during the workshop. Farmer access to quality seed still constitutes the main bottleneck to increased productivity in East Africa, the key focus is seed potato value chain.

The book is the first of its kind to collect and analyse potato seed research experiences and provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of seed potato production in Ethiopia.

The book can be viewed and downloaded online at the Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal:

ethiopia, potato