Blight-Resistant Potato Planted
15.03.10 Age: 67 days
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.
Papua New Guinea
Western Highlands potato farmers will soon be enjoying bumper harvests following the National Agricultural Research Institute's (NARI) introduction of late blight-resistant varieties. Farmers, whose crops were badly affected by late blight, have decided to plant the new potato variety.
These varieties were identified by NARI, in Tambul, to benefit farmers in the Highlands region. They have also selected areas for trials throughout the Highlands region. The initial trial was reviewed in Ganga village, located just outside Mt Hagen city, during a field day.
These new potato varieties will replace the existing sequoia variety, which had been affected by late blight, and can only be grown and cultivated using certain insecticides and continuous attention. Late blight was first detected in 2003 when crops shrivelled after flowering, causing it to die before maturity.