Common name Potato
Scientific name Solanum tuberosum
Family name Nightshade
Shona Matapiri, Mbatatisi
The common table potato or Irish potato plant (Solanum tuberosum) is a herbaceous slow-growing, branching perennial plant with weak stems. It is a member of the nightshade family (together with tomato, eggplant, chillies, pepper and tobacco) and is the third mostly grown crop in the world..
It is grown from either certified tubers or true potato seed. Potatoes like a fertile, deeply dug, moist, acidic soil with a pH of less than 6. They do not grow well in heavy clay or limed soils, which promote potato scab.
Potatoes are used for food as well as for non-food purposes. These uses of potatoes include use by pharmaceutical, textile, wood, and paper industries as an adhesive, binder, texture agent, and filler, and by oil drilling firms to wash boreholes. Potato starch, being 100% biodegradable, is a substitute for polystyrene and other plastics and used, for example, in disposable plates, dishes, and knives.
Potato peels are rich in starch and can be liquefied and fermented to produce fuel-grade ethanol.
In the food industry, potatoes may be used skillfully in many dishes and for a variety of occasions. For the farmer, potato farming may be profitable if done by the book and in tandem with market demands for the various varieties of potatoes.
Value addition in potato may be carried out on the farm or in specialised structures by potato merchants through processes such as washing, peeling, slicing, pre-packing, mixing with other ingredients ( chef’s mix, stir fry mix, fresh mix) as well as drying and even grinding to produce potato powder for culinary use.
Our iQFarmer Potato Manual will introduce you to the profitable business of potato farming, covering:
- Varieties and Types
- Planting Materials
- Land Preparation and Planting
- Production Management: weed control, fertilisation, irrigation
- Disease and Pest Control
- Physiological Disorders
- Harvesting, Handling and Storage
- Value Addition
- Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices (CSAP)
- Potato Economics and Entrepreneurship
You will also find a program on cotton production which we hope will help you to select the most cost-effective solutions and profitable combinations in setting up a profitable agricultural enterprise.
Download Grower’s Manual
Download Cropping Program