The successful grant is part of the Innovate UK Agri-Tech Catalyst Round 8: Agriculture and Food Systems Innovation call, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). It will run for 18 months starting November 1st 2019.
Globally, potato has proved a valuable and nutritious staple crop driving both food security and GDP growth. In Kenya, potato ranks second in importance after maize, with approximately 800,000 people benefiting directly from potato production. However, there are several challenges facing potato production, including potato cyst nematode (PCN) a major pest on potatoes worldwide, causing over 80% yield loss if left unmanaged. PCN was recently reported in Kenya and is now widespread in the main potato growing areas. Field diagnosis of the pest is a challenge therefore one approach to tackle the problem is the development of an on-farm diagnostic tool.
This project aims to develop a PCN Assessment Tool that, if successful, would enable farmers to detect PCN in their fields; this would allow them to consider whether it would be appropriate to plant their potato crops or act to tackle the PCN infestation.
The project is led by CHAP Innovation Hub Lead Dr Jenna Ross, in collaboration with the partners PES Technologies and icipe Nairobi Kenya.
Photo credit: Dr Solveig Haukeland, icipe
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