Participatory Analysis of the Potato Knowledge and Information System in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda
Potato is important for smallholders in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia as both a cash crop and a food-security crop. Potato production has tripled in ten years since the mid 1990s in sub-Saharan Africa, almost exclusively because of area expansion (FAOSTAT, 2006). With its cultivation restricted to the highlands and its ever-increasing consumption in cities, potato is the cash crop of the future for the densely populated eastern and central African highlands. To satisfy the growing demand from urban centres for cheap food, there is room for additional growth in potato production. Further area expansion will, however, put a strain on natural highland forests in eastern Africa. Producing potatoes at lower altitudes in the equatorial tropics is not feasible because of pest and disease pressure and physiological limitations of the crop. The only option for increased potato production is, therefore, raising crop productivity.