Comparative performance of true Potato seed (tps) propagated through nursery transplants, tubers and minitubers
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One of the major constraints to potato production amongst resource poor farmers in Kenya is lack of quality and affordable potato seed. Potato seed programmes have been effective in producing only small quantity of quality seed below the demand and repeated use of seed tubers have led to accumulation of pathogens and physiological degeneration resulting to low yields and high cost of production. Providing farmers with access to true potato seed technology provide the farmers with an opportunity to produce quality ware and seed potato at low cost. This experiment was carried out at Njabini Agricultural Training Centre (Njabini ATC) during the period from June 2012 to March 2013 to compare method of propagation of true potato seed. True potato seeds (TPS) of the crosses LT-8 x TS-15, MF-I x C95LB-13.2 and MF-I x TPS-67 were propagated through transplants, tubers, and minitubers and compared to Tigoni, a commercial genotype. Plants propagated by seed tubers had the highest plant height, fresh foliage weight per plant, tuber weight per plant and yields compared with minitubers and transplanted plants in all genotypes. However, transplanted plants gave the most number of tubers per plant in all genotypes but shifted towards production of medium and small grades. Cross MF-1 x TPS-67 gave plants with significantly high plant height, fresh foliage weight, tuber weight, number of tubers and also gave highest yields per hectare in all propagation methods than crosses LT-8 x TS-15 and MF-1 x C95LB-13.2. but not different from those of Tigoni. Seedling tubers derived from TPS from selected genotypes can yield as well as seed tubers of commercially varieties. The use of TPS can be used as initial planting materials for production of either seed or ware potato. From this study, minitubers can be recommended for seed production, transplants for both ware and seed production and seed tuber can be appropriate for commercial ware production.