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CIP and partners publish a ‘Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics’

The full title of this new book, authored by scientists working at CIP, INIAP, and CORPOICA in Latin America, is Manual for seed potato production using aeroponics. Ten years of experience in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is edited by Jorge Andrade-Piedra, Peter Kromann, Victor Otazú.

The Introduction was written by Dr. Barbara Wells (Director General, CIP), Dr. Juan Manuel Domínguez (Executive Director, INIAP) and Dr. Juan Lucas Restrepo Ibiza (Executive Director, CORPOICA). Here is what they say in the Introduction to the publication:

Aeroponics is a technique for producing potato minitubers (corresponding to the pre-basic seed category) in formal seed systems, that is, systems in which the State regulates the production and distribution of certified seed.

As such, it is a technology that calls for certain conditions to be in place in terms of institution, infrastructure and human resources, which means that it is appropriate only for highly specialized seed producers.

In a wider context, aeroponics is part of an integrated proposal of the International Potato Center (CIP) and its partners to manage seed potato degeneration. Degeneration is the reduction in yield or quality due to the accumulation of pathogens or pests in planting material through successive cycles of vegetative propagation. It is a core problem that has led to large sums being invested for the production and distribution of certified seed all over the world.

The predominant model at present promotes seed degeneration management almost exclusively through the use of certified seed, usually produced by the public sector, especially in the initial categories such as pre-basic seed.

The new strategy for managing degeneration also includes the use of certified seed, but with greater participation of the private sector. It focuses much more on the use of varieties resistant to the pathogens that cause degeneration, and on training farmers in ways to manage degeneration so that they can produce their own seed for a longer time without a reduction in their crop yields.

Aeroponics can form a part of this new strategy, since it is a technology that facilitates the production of large quantities of high quality minitubers at a low cost. This in turn allows producers to reduce the number of field multiplications of the initial categories of seed, which means that the certified seed obtained at the end of these multiplication cycles will be healthier and available in a shorter period of time and at a lower cost.

CIP and its partners — the Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation (CORPOICA) and the National Institute of Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIAP) hope that this manual will be a valuable tool for all those who want to implement aeroponics.

Further details on the 268 page book, as well as a downloadable digital copy (in pdf format) can be found here.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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