Agency to supply disease-free potatoes

National

FRESH Produce Development Agency says it can supply potato seeds to farmers throughout the country.
Gabriel Aipanga, FPDA’s elite seed potato programme manager, said this yesterday in Mt Hagen when showing some of the work the organisation was doing in Western Highlands.
He is in-charge of elite seed multiplication in Tambul – which is the beginning of a complex process from laboratory to farmers – to ensure that disease-free potatoes of the highest quality are produced in the country.
“We get 12,000 plantlets on a monthly basis from the Aiyura Tissue Culture Lab (in Eastern Highlands),” Aipanga told The National.
“We take them to Tambul, plant them in our 24 clean houses, and produce mini-tubers of generation-zero.
“When they are ready, we take them out to the field.”
He said because of bacterial wilt in Tambul, so FPDA had to find areas free of the disease, so they came up with an outgrower arrangement whereby certified farmers with land grow mini-tubers.
“From the outgrower arrangement, FPDA is able to at least maintain the seed volume in the country,” Aipanga said.
“The seeds that FPDA gets are distributed to our certified farmers throughout the Highlands – Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Jiwaka, Western Highlands, Enga, Southern Highlands and Hela.”
The certified farmers then distribute them to farmers throughout the Highlands and other provinces.
“We at FPDA ensure that farmers get clean seeds, which are easily accessible.”

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