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 AJPS  Vol.5 No.24 , November 2014
Potato Seed Supply, Marketing and Production Constraints in Eritrea
Abstract: Potato is an important vegetable crop in Eritrea contributing significantly to food security. Despite its importance, however, production and thus supply of the crop in the market are limited. The current study is designed to understand the seed supply system, marketing out lets and major production constraints. The survey was conducted in the two main potato producing Zobas of the country (Zoba Maekel and Zoba Debub). Qualitative and quantitative data was generated using focus group discussion (PRA) and semi structured questionnaire, respectively. A total of 20 villages were visited and 138 farmers were interviewed. The finding revealed that there is no standard seed supply system thus majority (91.3%) of the growers purchase seed from open market with a limited supply from the Ministry of Agriculture. Furthermore, about 63% of the farmers from Zoba Maekel reserve their own seed for the next cycle compared to 53.6% from Zoba Debub. It was noted that the Tsaeda embaba variety grows predominantly in the country owing to its yield and resistance. Majority of the growers rely on tuber colour and shape for variety identification, thus over 76% prefer the round shaped and white coloured variety. The potential marketing outlets include wholesale, retailer and direct to consumers. Majority (78.3%) of the interviewed growers indicated that large portion of their produce is marketed via wholesaler followed by retailers (27.5%). Main production limiting constraints are identified as low input supplies, availability and cost of clean seeds, pest pressure while huge market demand and access to transportation are considered as potentials encouraging grower. It is, therefore, recommended that an immediate action to establish sustainable seed supply system is taken into consideration in line with a regular extension service to provide technical advice to growers.
Cite this paper: Ghebreslassie, B. , Githiri, S. , Mehari, T. and Kasili, R. (2014) Potato Seed Supply, Marketing and Production Constraints in Eritrea. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 3684-3693. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.524384.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1000360


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