Scientists have been urged to use technology in the production of potatoes. In order to guarantee long-term food security in the nation, scientists at the National Roots Crops Research Institute, NRCRI in Nigeria, have been tasked with developing more technologies in the areas of improved potato varieties’ resistance to bacteria, wilt, and nematodes as well as effective management of potato viruses.

    The call was made over the weekend at the Plateau State University in Bokkos during the Potato Green Field Day, where potato farmers were led through hands-on instruction at a multi-locational confined field trial.

    The Trial Manager, Global Biotech Potato Partnership, GBPP, Kahya Shuaibu, whose work involves the Potato Research Programme at the NRCRI, Kuru, explained the significance of technology in potato production by stating that it would, among other things, improve yield, ensure availability, and improve farmers’ economic power.

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    According to him, “The greenfield days are often planned to fulfill the dual purposes of promoting new technology adoption and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the target crops, which is intended to result in increased yield and sustainable income for the farmers to enhance their standard of living.


    These gatherings are meant to provide farmers, agricultural extension agents, and researchers with a forum for exchanging information and firsthand accounts about the interventions being shown. They also serve to highlight the results of our study.

    “Potato late blight, which is brought on by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, is a serious disease in many potato-growing regions of the world. Food security in Nigeria is at risk. Over the years, Nigeria has had significant outbreaks of potato late blight, particularly in Plateau State, the nation’s main producing region. About 32,000 hectares of potatoes in Plateau State were lost to disease in 2022.

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    The destruction, he continued, had spurred stakeholders to find a long-term solution to the problem. Among the suggestions made were “immediate procurement and distribution to farmers of two fungicides (Pyraclostrobin and (Azoxystrobin 200g/l + Difenoconazole 125g/l SC) newly recommended by NRCRI, Umudike for the control of late blight diseases.

    “Utilizing tissue culture techniques, rapid multiplication of early maturing cultivars, such as Nicola Marabel. “The commercial release and use of biotech potatoes resistant to late blight.”

    The current goal of multilocational limited trials being conducted at Plateau State University Bokkos and Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State, according to Shuaibu, is to “Assess the effectiveness of Biotech potato resistant to late blight under natural infection. Analyze the biotech potato’s resilience to natural infection in rain-fed environments throughout Nigeria’s potato-growing regions.


    Analyze the yield and growth of the Biotech potato without the use of fungicides. Release, register, and deploy promising occasions as varieties for use in Nigerian commerce.

    He urged farmers to “always follow all the GAP to increase yield” and tasked NRCRI scientists with “developing more technologies in the area of improved potato varieties resistance to Bacteria wilt, Nematodes, as well as proper management of potato viruses for sustainable food security in Nigeria.”

    There is a need to promote biotech potatoes, according to Dr. Christian Nwadili, Coordinator of the Potato Programme at NRCRI, Kuru.

    In his own words, “Potatoes are one of our hallmark crops and a staple diet for millions of Nigerians. Additionally, it is a significant source of revenue for farmers, particularly in Plateau state. However, our potato industry suffers a variety of difficulties, chief among them being low production, poor market access, and, more significantly, pests and illnesses.

    We get a valuable opportunity to view and examine some biotech potatoes being developed during this greenfield day. We must figure out how to boost potato yield and strengthen the industry’s resistance to pests and diseases.

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