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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Farmers eye export of Irish Potatoes

Story by Grace Sibanda

MEMBERS of the Valley Irrigation Scheme out-grower programme in Matabeleland South Province are confident of a good Irish Potato crop harvest this year, after planting more than 80 hectares.

Irish potato is considered an important root and tuber crop which was declared a national strategic crop by the government.

Farmers in Matabeleland South have adopted the production of the crop with remarkable success amid high hopes that it will contribute to national food security and create employment.

“This crop is a source of carbohydrate and relish for our community, hence the hectares that we will harvest from this crop will go a long way to ensure food security in the country. Also, 90% of the manpower here is sourced from around,” said Maphisa Plant manager, Mr Aleck Chinyaya.
The Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr John Basera said the crop is mainly for exporting.

“We have 88 hectares that we look forward to harvesting this year and it is mainly for export to other provinces like Harare, Bulawayo Metropolitan and Matebeleland North among others. As a result of the government`s ban on potato imports, potato yield in the country has increased, thus moving in line with the devolution agenda of building the economy leaving no province behind.”

Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is considered to be a very important root and tuber crop in the world. It is considered to be the third important staple crop in the world as a source of carbohydrates after crops like wheat Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is considered to be a very important root and tuber crop in the world.

The Irish potato is a tuber that adjusts to climatic conditions, with the crop blossoming in the winter and ready for harvesting in September.

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