10 July 2023
New tissue culture technology plays its part in ensuring self-sufficiency.
ZIMBABWE'S agricultural research hub Kutsaga has distributed more than three million potato plantlets using the new tissue culture technology.
The distribution is meant to ensure self-sufficiency in the national potato and horticulture micro-propagation for the Presidential Rural Horticultural Scheme.
Dr Anxious Masuka, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, said in a recent speech: "In terms of sweet potato plantlet production, I am aware that this project has been providing plantlets to participants of the Presidential Rural Horticultural Scheme, for establishment in their nutrition gardens. I know that since 2021, TRB has produced and delivered well over three million sweet potato plantlets to rural households in all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe."
Masuka said the full utilisation of new technology (tissue culture), has enabled Kutsaga to offer disease-free seedlings at a larger scale within a short space of time.
Efficient production of high-quality seed potato tubers, added Dr Masuka, was essential for improved productivity and cannot be over-emphasized as the country moves away from being solely dependent on production from the Eastern Highlands and imports.