CIP Launches Late Blight-resistant Potato Seeds in Malawi
The International Potato Centre (CIP) recently offered disease resistant Irish potato seeds to ten farmers in Dedza, Malawi, reports AllAfrica. The development comes in a bid to combat diseases which have been hampering potato yields for the past two years in the region.
The farmers received the seed potatoes at a ceremony organized by CIP at the Fisikulibe Village in Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza.
“For a long time, potato growing districts like Dedza, Lilongwe, and Ntchisi, have been attacked by a disease called Late Blight (chiwawu) which has led to a drop in yields. It is for this reason that we approached Irish Aid to help us develop new varieties that can resist this disease. Currently, in conjunction with government through the agriculture research department and with funding from Irish Aid, we have come up with several seeds that are resistant to this disease,” said Dr. Obed Mwenye, potato scientist at CIP.
Mwenye further explained they have distributed Late Blight resistant seeds namely, Chuma, Thandizo, Mwayi, Violet and Zikomo to ten farmers which are first grade seeds.
The seed recipients are expected to start multiplying them so that they should also be shared to other farmers as a way of making sure that all growers in the districts are growing disease resistant potato.