Irish international development agency Vita launched the book ‘Growing the Potato Crop‘ by former Teagasc stalwart and renowned potato expert John Burke a few years ago. The book, which is expected to be a significant game changer for potato farmers in East Africa, focusses on improving potato productivity in sub Saharan Africa.
Effectively it is a training manual for farmers, crop specialists, agronomists and extension workers across the region and beyond. It provides practical guidelines to improve crop productivity, combined with an astute application of the scientific principles underpinning those guidelines.
The book is based on John’s own expertise, accumulated through his vast experience of working with Teagasc, Vita and the potato farmers of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Through John’s expert guidance, over 12,000 farmers in East Africa have seen their yields increase by 300% on average, while the programme was rolled out in five more sub Saharan countries.
“Teagasc is very proud to have collaborated with John Burke and Vita on this book,” announced Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, at the launch. “It will have an enduring impact long after we have all moved on. It is a vital tool in combatting poverty through sound, informed, research – led agriculture.”
John Weakliam, CEO of Vita, said; “Vita has been very lucky to have someone of John Burke’s calibre so deeply involved with our work, and indeed we are grateful to all in Teagasc and John O’Shea, who have both given unstinting support. This book will enable potato farmers everywhere to improve their situations and that of their families, and therefore, its value is almost immeasurable.”
Iverk Produce has uploaded the 395 page book as a pdf file on its website, and it can be viewed here.
Source: Vita. Original news story here
Cover photo: Pictured at the launch in Teagasc Oak Park are Lance O Brien, Teagasc; Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc; John Weakliam, CEO of Vita; Kate Foley from Iverk Produce; and John Burke, author.