, Deo Tibanyendera
, Imelda Night Kashaija
, Berga Lemaga
, Vasiter Eunice Kesiime
, Victor Otazu
, Oscar Ortiz
, and Ian Barker
Seed accounts for a significant proportion of potato production cost and its quality cannot be
compromised for profitable potato production. Potato is conventionally vegetatively propagated,
has a low multiplication rate and requires many generations to bulk the requisite seed quantity
often in open fields. During seed bulking, the crop is prone to degeneration leading to successive
loss in yield as a result of viral, bacterial and fungal infections. To reduce this, there should be
few open field seed bulking generations before the stock is used for ware potato production.
Rapid bulking of seed potato has not been possible due to its inherent low multiplication rate.
However, this can be partly overcome by tissue culture, micro-propagation and deployment of
novel technologies such as aeroponics to produce mini-tubers. Consequently, aeroponic
technology for rapid production of nuclear seed was tested in Uganda for adaption in different
seasons and with different varieties to produce potato mini-tubers. Production of mini-tubers was
affected by cropping seasons and potato varieties. Generally, however, the performance of local
potato varieties in aeroponics is promising. More mini-tubers per plantlet were produced at low
than high plantlet density, while more mini-tubers per unit area were produced at high than low
plantlet density. Preliminary results indicated that aeroponics on average produces 8.5 times
more mini-tubers than the conventional soil substrates. The technology has shown a high
potential to break the seed potato bottle-neck in Uganda.