To address these issues, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), initiated a study aimed at developing more resilient potato varieties that can grow in both long and short rainy seasons and give higher yields.
Some of the farmers who trialed climate-smart potato varieties in Lushoto, Tanzania.
(Courtesy: S. Quinn CIP)
Lushoto is the most densely populated rural district in Tanzania. Situated in the north-east of the country, Lushoto is part of the Tanzanian highlands where potatoes are traditionally grown.
(Courtesy: S. Kilungu, CCAFS)
Even though potato is a traditional crop, farmers can plant economically only once a year due to heat during the short rainy season.
Potato productivity is severely reduced by high temperatures, droughts and climate-driven pests and diseases such as aphids, Late Blight and viruses.
Using participatory action research, this study aimed to empower smallholder farmers to plant year-round while increasing yields. Potatoes may be grown on small terraces on steep hills such as these.
(Courtesy: D. Harahagazwe, CIP)
‘Asante’ means 'thank you' in Swahili. Now, for farmers in Usambara, Northern Tanzania, 'Asante' also describes a recently introduced potato variety, which is helping the region become climate-smart.
(Courtesy: S. Quinn, CIP)
Two clones were named through a stepwise and participatory approach and proposed for official release.