Seed potato mini tubers inside the aphid screen houses in Tambul
By KIAGI NEMA of FPDA
Fresh Produce Development Agency is partnering with other related organisations in the country to work on the seed potato project.
The FPDA seed potato project has been concentrating its efforts in the highlands provinces, specifically Western Highlands and
Highlands to make available adequate quantities of potato tubers
that are certified for planting as seeds.
All this effort is done in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), which has the expertise in micro‐propagation as well as land for field multiplication.
The other partners include CARE International PNG and Alele Fresh produce,
FPDA entered into an agreement where NARI produces and supplies potato plantlets in a tissue culture laboratory located at Aiyura in the
Plantlets inside containers, ready to be taken out and moved into trays
FPDA has been receiving 12, 000 plantlets a month from NARI since 2009.
This is following the signing of a new agreement in June 2009 between FPDA and NARI.
The increase in plantlets follows the construction of 12 new screen houses in Tambul, Western Highlands, which now brings the total number of screen houses to 24.
In 2004 NARI had an initial agreement with FPDA to supply 2, 000 plantlets per month.
In 2007, FPDA signed a new agreement with NARI for 6,000 plantlets per month due to the renovation of three old screen houses and construction of nine new screen houses.
Plantlets are transported by road to Tambul in the WHP and planted in FPDA’s aphid proof screen houses in trays using sterilised soil.
These plants, once mature, are harvested and the tubers planted out in the field on-station at Tambul.
This partnership is currently going on.
Seeds harvested from Tambul are sold to private sector seed growers.
These growers are divided into two categories of growers and are called mother and certified seed growers.
Mother seed growers receive generation 1 and 2 seeds and produce generation 2 and 3 seeds.
These are inspected and sold to certified seed growers who produce generation 3 and 4 seeds that are sold to ware growers.
Only generation 4 seed is sold out for production of ware potatoes.
Eastern Highlands, the
project also entered into partnership agreement with Care International PNG to
implement training for potato production as seed crops.
Care International PNG is a non-government organisation and has programmes to assist people in the most-disadvantaged areas of PNG.
This agreement was for FPDA seed potato project to provide seeds and technical expertise to three groups of people who have identified their need for income through production of potatoes.
These groups are located at Akuna, Omaura and Sasaura at the back of Yonki dam in
After the initial training and growing of crops by the groups, interest has grown for the crop and another follow-up request was made by the groups through Care international.
This partnership is working very well as resources and expertise is shared for a common goal, and that is to contribute to elevating the lives of the people in disadvantaged areas in PNG.
The project has also entered into agreement with Alele Farm Fresh Produce to provide inspection and certification for its crop planted in its aphid proof screen house for production of potato mini‐tubers for its farmers.
This partnership worked well and all its crops and harvested tubers were physically inspected and certified as clean.
This partnership is on a crop-by-crop basis.