Potato Seed Value Chain Stages from Laboratory to open field
Potato is one of the most important food and cash crops in Rwanda and it covers 50,000 to 60,000 ha estimated at 3.9 percent of total cultivated land per each season. Its contribution to total main crop production in Rwanda is estimated at 9.5% and its annual consumption per capita is estimated at 145 kgs.
Here are the stages of the process of Potato Seed Value Chain from Laboratory to open field:
- G.0. Production of Invitro plantlets: this is carried out in Tissue Culture Laboratory. Breeder seed is produced under the highest level of genetic control to ensure the seed is genetically pure and accurately represents the variety characteristics identified by the breeder during variety selection.
- G.1. Mini-Tubers production done in screen houses
- G.2. Pre-basic seed: Pre-basic seed is a step of seed multiplication between breeder and foundation or basic seed that is used to produce sufficient quantities of seed for foundation or basic seed production. It is the responsibility of the breeder to produce pre-basic seed and production should occur under very high levels of genetic control.
- G.3. Basic seed : Basic or Foundation seed is the descendent of breeder or pre-basic seed and is produced under conditions that ensure maintaining genetic purity and identity. When basic seed is produced by an individual or organization other than the plant breeder there is a detailed and accurate description of the variety the basic seed producer can use as a guide for eliminating impurities (“off types”) during production.
- G.4. Certified seed: Certified seed is the descendent of breeder, pre-basic, or basic seed produced under conditions that ensure maintaining genetic purity and the identification of the variety and that meet certain minimum standards for purity.
Certified seeds are the ones to be used by farmers for ware potato production. Currently 11 new Potato varieties have been released by RAB among which six were released in 2020 and five that were released in 2019: 1. Jyambere, 2. Cyerekezo, 3; Ndamira, 4. Twigire, 5. Gisubizo, 6. Seka, 7. Nkunganire, 8. Ndeze, 9. Twihaze, 10. Kazeneza, 11. Izihirwe.