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Finnish project supports potato cultivation in Tanzania

 University of Helsinki
March 8, 2011
The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 2.5 million for developing potato cultivation in Tanzania.

Leader of the Finnish team within the project is Academy Professor Jari Valkonen from the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Helsinki.

With a total annual amount of 329 million tons, potato is the most common root-crop in the world. The corresponding figures for cassava and sweet potato are 228 million tons and 126 million tons per year.

With regard to its nutritional value, potato is a balanced alternative and it is also the only root that can be stored for a longer period of time under the current conditions.

In the project, Valkonen’s team and the International Potato Centre (CIP) will together with employees from the Mikocheni and Uyole research stations prepare a seed potato programme for highlands in southwest Tanzania.

The objective is to develop biotechnology that will help the small-scale farmers in the region to produce sound additional material. A number of companies and organisations are also involved in the research on seed potatoes.

In Africa, it is mostly the women that grow root-crops.

Potato – an important source of income for Tanzanian women

Companies in this Article
The International Potato Center or Centro Internacional de la Papa (also known by its Spanish acronym, CIP) seeks to reduce poverty and achieve food security on a sustained basis in developing countries.