AN OVERVIEW OF POTATO PRODUCTION


Potato can be grown from True Potato Seed (TPS), plantlets or tubers. The use of tubers is the best method for potato production. The use of high-quality seed is very important. Certified seed will produce 15 – 20% higher yields than standard seed.

Planting Periods in Zimbabwe  

Summer (rain-fed) November  

First winter- Feb – April  

Second winter- July- August  

Planting Material  

Obtain seed from a reliable source (Seed Potato Coop, Kutsaga, National Tested Seed, and Prime Seed)  

Requirements per ha- 80 x 30kg pockets  

Sprouting  

Natural sprouting (3- 5 weeks)  

Forced sprouting (2-3 weeks) 

Use Gibberellic acid (GA)- 32ml/ 100litrs of water/ ha  

Planting  

Basal Fertiliser

Seedbed fert (S) / Compound S / Tobacco fert (C) - 1300- 1500kg/ha  

Nematode Control  

Culturally – rotations  

Nemacur 10G 100kg/ha  

Nemacur 480 EC 25 L/ha  

Temik 40kg/ha  

Potatoes

Spacing  

Spacing 1.2mx 0.23m  

Optimum plant population 37 000  

Depth of planting 5-10cm  

Topdressing/ Ridging  

300kg/ha,  

Applied three weeks after emergence  

Top-dress - Ridge - Spray  

Second top dress – re-ridge – Spray  

Ensure that the tubers are well covered to avoid 

Greening and Potato Tuber moth

Crop Management

1. Mainly Grasses 

Chemical to use

Lasso 48 EC 

Dual Magnum 

Application comments

Pre-emergent to weeds and crop 

2. Broadleaf weeds 

Chemical to use

Sencor 480 SC 

MCPA 

Application comments

Pre-emergent

Pre-emergent to crop and weed 

3. Grasses only 

Chemical to use

Agil 100 EC 

Application comments

Annual grasses.  

Perennials grasses. 

Post-emergent

For Diseases

1. Early blight 

Chemicals to use

Bravo (Preventive) 

Dithane M45 (Preventive) 

Folicur (Curative)

Score (Curative)

2. Late blight 

Chemical to use

Bravo (Preventive)

Dithane (Preventive) 

Ridomil/ Miltraz (Curative)

3. Early & Blight 

Chemical to use

Copper Oxychloride 85 WP

Polyram DF 

Antracol 70 WP

4. Bacteria Wilt 

Chemical to use

Copper Oxychloride 

Application comments

Weekly sprays, rogue infected crop

Harvesting and Storage

Remove the haulms when 50%+ defoliation has occurred  
Leave the crop for two weeks before lifting  
Lifting can be done manually with a hole or mechanically  
Grade and pack by size  
Storage area should be well ventilated  
Average yields: 17 – 20 t/ha and winter yields: 24 -30t/ha

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