Potato is an important staple crop in East Africa. Most of the seed tubers are propagated in informal systems, whereby the tubers become deteriorated and contaminated, resulting in low crop yields. Potato breeding has not resulted in significantly improved varieties that overcome these constraints. Recently, true potato hybrid breeding technology has been developed, whereby diploid hybrids are generated by crossing between homozygous inbred parent lines. The first series of experimental hybrids were pre-screened in The Netherlands and ten representative hybrids were tested in East-Africa, whereby the yield of the best hybrid was 29 ton/ha. These results show the great potential of hybrid potato for East Africa.
Michiel de Vries*, Menno ter Maat and Pim Lindhout