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Botswana Farmer Eschews Tuber for Potato Seed

Serinane-based Seate says she has become the first farmer in Botswana to plant potatoes using seeds and not the usually tubers.

Last year, she went to an agriculture fair outside Botswana and she found a potato seed called True Potato Seed (TPS), which has never been used in Botswana. After hearing success stories about the seeds particularly in India, she bought it and approached the agricultural department to assist on how that can be possible to be planted in Botswana.

“I conducted workshops at the farm to engage other farmers on the new development and the response has been positive. We experimented with it and we are optimistic of a good harvest,” she explained.

Seate further outlined that the disadvantages of using a tuber is that it is bulky and prone to diseases as opposed to a TPS, which is diseaseresistant and has potential to produce between 1.5 to 2kg of potatoes per bolt or 30 to 34 tonnes of potatoes per hectare. The currently used tubers across Botswana are imported in bags from South Africa.

Edoardo Sabadelli

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