Feasibility of Low-Cost Seed Potato Storage in Kenya: The Case of Diffused Light Storage in Nyandarua County

  •  Jane Muthoni    
  •  J. Kabira    
  •  D. Kipkoech    
  •  G. Abong    
  •  J. Nderitu    


An on-farm storage trial was conducted at six sites in Nyandarua County using seed tubers of eight officially recognized Kenyan potato varieties and one commonly grown farmers’ variety called Cangi. The seeds were stored under diffuse light store (DLS) conditions in low-cost structures owned by the growers to test the feasibility of prolonged seed storage under on-farm conditions. Three farmers’ groups and three individual farmers were used in this study. In general, DLS wooden structures with iron sheet roof or mud-walled with iron sheet roofs were used for storage.

Most of the varieties stored satisfactorily for up to 8 months. Kenya Mpya and Kenya Mavuno had higher overall acceptability than Sherekea, Asante, Desiree, Kenya Karibu, Tigoni and Dutch Robjin. Kenya Mpya, Sherekea and Kenya Mavuno had the least shrinkage following 8 months of storage. The unofficial cultivar Cangi which is the most popular in Nyandarua had poor storability but could be planted 2 to 3 months following harvest. Results indicated that DLS could be used by ware potato growers for prolonged seed storage the following season. This way the growers could be assured of good potato harvests due to the use of well sprouted tubers. This is critical in case of seasons with low or less than average rainfall as experienced in recent years.

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