Research Article

Performance of Potatoes under Irrigation in the Dry Parts of Kenya  

Jane Muthoni1 , J.N.  Kabira1 , Hussein  Shimelis2 , Dennis  Okinyi3 , Vincent  Kipngetich3 , R.K.  Wanjogu4 , B.P.O.  Owilla5
1. Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO),Tigoni, Kenya
2. African Center for Crop Improvement, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01 Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
3. Mwea Irrigation Agricultural Development (MIAD) Centre, Kenya
4. National Irrigation Board (NIB), Kenya
5. Ahero Irrigation and Research Scheme (AIRS), Kenya

Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 11   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0011
Received: 15 Feb., 2016    Accepted: 25 Mar., 2016    Published: 21 Apr., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

 Muthoni J., Kabira J.N., Shimelis H., Okinyi D., Kipngetich V., Wanjogu R.K., and Owilla B.P.O., 2016, Performance of potatoes under irrigation in the dry parts of Kenya, International Journal of Horticulture, 6(11): 1-10 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2016.06.0011)

Abstract

Potato is a cool season crop and in Kenya, it is generally grown in the cool highlands   between 1500 and 3500 meters above sea level. It can also be grown in warmer areas as long as water is available and temperatures are not very high. In the irrigation schemes in Kenya, paddy rice is the main food crop; this is rotated with maize. There is need to increase productivity of these irrigation schemes through crop diversification. Potatoes can be a good alternative crop because it is fast maturing. Work was done to evaluate performance of potatoes at Mwea Irrigation Agricultural Development (MIAD) Centre in Kirinyaga County and at National Irrigation Board (NIB) irrigation schemes at Bura and Perkerra between 2013 and 2015. Generally, potato varieties took a shorter time to mature and had lower yields in the irrigation schemes than they normally do in the cool highlands. At Mwea, ware-sized tubers averaged 80% of the total yields. Average yields at Mwea and Perkerra were much higher than at the hotter Bura site; there were no ware-sized tubers at Bura. Potato varieties that were released into Kenya a long time ago such as Desiree, Romano, Pimpernel, Roslin Eburu and Roslin Bvumbwe performed well at Mwea and Perkerra. These varieties should be promoted in the respective areas where they performed well.

Keywords
Irrigated potatoes; Performance; Yields
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