Exploring Aeroponics technology for seed potato production at ADC

Did you know soil is no longer necessary for growing seed potatoes?

Read more...I have learnt that to do anything in this world worth doing, one must not stand back shivering and thinking of the setbacks and danger; but must jump in, and scramble through as best as one can. This inspiring words describes the strategic move by ADC towards survivng as a seed potato grower for the country amidst a persistent drowning shortage of basic seed potato that has continued to affect our targeted certified seed potato production for a while.

With this realistaion, the corporation has strategically narrowed down to focus on its strentgh and available opportunities, under the ADC Seed Potato Complex that comprises of two farms, a garding and coldstorage facility and more recently a full functional tissue culture Lab and green house. Led by the MD and also CEO of ADC Mr: William Kirwa, the corporation has once again undertaken a research project, in collabaoration with the CIP- International Potato Centre led by Dr. Ian Barker, to produce seed potatoes tubers in air, by means of a novel modern system known as aeroponics.


Why aeroponics?

The aeroponic system of cultivation for the production of first generation seed potatoes is carried out in greenhouses and basically consists of maintaining the roots of the plant in the air and in conditions of total darkness, whereby nutrient-enriched water is sprayed on them periodically. Roots grow in the air, and this enables a great exposure to air and avoids the contact of the tubers with soil pathogens. Therefore, the production per plant increases considerably. This increase brings the price of the tuber down substantially.

The system increases productivity, as it is expected that up to fifity tubers per plant can be obtained instead of the three or four achieved using conventional methods. Moreover, it reduces the rate of soil-based diseases such as PLRV; Bacterial wilts and it is a more sustainable system as it needs lower inputs of water and fertilisers in precise amount of both items needed by the plant at each phase of its development.


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