A Report on Potato Seed Production in Eritrea

Light Case Study: Community Led Potato Seed Production, Multiplication and Distribution in Potato Growing Areas of Eritrea

By Pro Intense Africa,

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the most important crops in the world today. Potato produces more protein and calories per unit area, per unit time, and per unit of water than any other major plant food.

In Eritrea, potato is an important, high nutritional value and popular food crop for consumers and a cash crop to growers. Potato grows well in all the high altitude areas, mid lands and low lands in the cool months of the year under various soil types, and is grown by subsistence and commercial farmers.



Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture of Eritrea estimated that a total of 2,970 hectare of land is under potato cultivation. The potato crop is one of the priority crops that has been targeted for development in the Medium Term Plan and Strategy of the National Agricultural Research Institute of Eritrea.

The current national average yield is low, around 12.5 tons/ha. A significant factor contributing to these low yields is the heavy infestation of seed potatoes with virus. The nutritional and economic value, in addition to the favourable climate of the country, justifies efforts to address constraints of under-utilized productive capacity of the crop.

Some of the constraints that were identified in the highlands and midlands included: weak seed variety, prevalence of viral diseases, high cost of inputs, limited access to extension services, unreliable weather, and low produce price, lack of storage facilities and seed provision systems.

In addressing the intensification drivers, the consortium team in Eritrea, including members from Ireland (Teagasc, Vita), promotes food security at national and regional levels through access to a reliable source of potato tubers (seed), which in turn improves household incomes of beneficiary farmers.

Participants: Research and extension staff from NARI and Ministry of Agriculture in Eritrea, – Research and extension staff from Teagasc, Ireland, – Development staff from Vita (NGO)

The focus of the project is on developing a scale model of a seed potato system, seed multiplication, tissue culture development and upskilling of research and extension staff. The annual national seed potato requirement, based on the most recent area estimate, is over 3,000 tones which would cost about USD 2.1 Million, which is beyond what the Government can afford.

In the absence of any seed provision system, the normal practice is for farmers to either save the smallest sized tubers for seed in the next season or to simply buy small tubers left over from the vegetable market. This new consortium will strengthen ongoing work supported by Teagasc and Vita in addressing intensification drivers associated with the potato crop in Eritrea.



  • Sanchez

    Good job. Can you guys consider making some brand of Eritrean Vodka. We also need some alcohol in the house 🙂

  • Dinish

    That’s a lot of potatoes. We can use them to make potato salad, French fries, potato leak soup, mashed potato, boiled potato. Additionally, you can make Vodka from potato and also use potato to generate electricity.

    • Ebay-Asmara

      Wow, that’s a lot of potatoe- knowledge bro. Hahaha…that was great!

    • cane libero

      Potato fries is the an-healthiest way of eating it, as you burn oil to cook, while boiled or the way Russians prepare as salad is unique. About the french-fries if you go to Kenya, Tanzania etc you might see lot of consumption of it, and very poor way of cooking, when you can cook it and eat it simply with salt or with a drop of non cooked oil.

    • ኣሌክ – Alec you

      Also.. U can make lots of bread with potato flour..

    • jordi

      I’ve always said potato is my favorite vegetable because of the variety.

  • Yohanna

    Great Job..Keep Walking

  • ERITREANFORLIFE

    ALTHOUGH POTATOES TASTE GREAT, THEY ARE HYBRID(man made), THEY ARE BAD FOR US AS CARROT AND ALL HYBRID ARE. POTATO IS NOTHING BUT STARCH. AS LATE “DR. SEBI(RIP)” SAID, “WE NEED TO CONSUME ALKALINE ELECTRIC FOOD”. Dr. Sebi has cured all diseases including hiv-aid, cancer, etc. HE HAD PROVED IN COURTS (new York supreme court,etc) HIS METHOD ARE EFFECTIVE. CHECK HIS WORK OUT, HE IS AMAZING. LET US KEEP THE ENEMIES(western) FOOD AT THEIR DOORSTEPS. IF WE DO DECIDE TO PRODUCE HYBRIDS, AS WE HAVE, IT SHOULD ALL BE EXPORTED. IF ONE IS TO PRODUCE/CONSUME POTATO, WE SHOULD LEARN FROM THE PEOPLE OF PERU/BOLIVIAN/CHILE WHERE THE ORIGINAL POTATO ORIGINATED.

  • (London 14th February 2017) – The Embassy of the State of Eritrea in UK launched its Eri-Partners & Friendship Forum, within an overarching event that was designed to bring together existing friends & partners of Eritrea. Guests from a variety of areas were present, including politics, tourism, wildlife, investment, research, media, public relations and international organizations. The event thus created an opportunity of raising awareness of the various avenues of development. The reception was also an opportunity for guests to meet each other and provided an informal platform for discussion
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1839f5f9bc0ce46f1695338f163afff2a34619a514ee75af4ed271cdd414b8e3.jpg

  • PROFILE OF POTATO BENEFICIARY- BEREKET TEWELDE

    Bereket Tewelde, 54, is a potential farmer in Zoba Maekel. He has finished his middle school and then started to work in agricultural sites. He has been involved in farming for almost 30 years. He is a father of six children. He has 4.5 hectares of land where he grows potato, vegetables, tomatoes and cereals depending on the seasons. On the average, he earns 300,000 Nakfa annually. He said that he has received 10.5 quintals of Electra variety. The seeds were planted in 0.5 hectare of land and the potato seeds were grown with good crop care management. He also added that he always adds fertilizers, and applied pesticides based on the requirement.

    “My biggest problem is of course the lack of certified seeds, insecticide and land. In 2014, he bought potato seeds from Sudan which were completely damaged seeds,” says Bereket. He said the Ministry of Agriculture has to provide quality seeds and check the seeds which are imported to the country.

    “The seeds that I have received from the project, Electra, are in a very good shape and I produced very remarkable results which was approximately 150 quintals in the first harvest. In the second planting, I planted 25 quintals seeds from my own saved seeds and am harvesting it and have good instincts that they will be fruitful.

    Moreover, he hires women and men to help him in cultivating potatoes and other vegetables. In addition, I have water source and a tractor which are an advantage for me to be successful in my agricultural work,” adds Bereket.

    He really appreciated the training that he received, especially the outdoor farm training in which he has got a lot of knowledge and inputs. Especially, the use of the new simple diffuse light store technology which is better than the one he used that is wooden boxes or Jute sacks. This will help him store his own clean potato tubers for the next generations.

    He wants to own his own land and produce quality potato seeds for multiplication purposes.

    “There is a very good market for potato and other vegetables so I want to be a competitive farmer, though I believe extra work is needed plus trainings on how to use modern agricultural equipment and tools,” says Bereket.

    To appreciate his work, a team composed of CEO VITA (John Weakliam), Teagasc (Larry O’Loughlin), Ray Jordan (Gorta SHA), farmers, research staff, extension agent and Eritrea Vita members all jointly visited when the second potato crop was harvested on 16 May 2016.

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  • Raee

    መን ከምዚ ህዝቢ!

    እዚ ዓቃል ህዝቢ ዝገብሮ ዝፈልጥ
    ኣብ ሎሚ ነቢሩ ንጽባሕ ዝእምት
    ረሃጹ የፍስስ ይሰርሕ ይምክት
    ብነብሱ ክሓድር ምጽዋት ከይጥምት

    ኮረኔል ጀረናል ተማሃራይ መምህር
    ንሰላም ምዕባለ ዝጽዕት ዝደክም
    ደኺመ ዘይወጾ ሃገሩ ዘገልግል
    ዘይሕለሎ ንህቢ ንዕረ’ዩ ዘምዕር

    ብድሎ ብቓጻ መጒቱ ዝረትዕ
    ሃገራዊ ረብሓ ቀዳማይ ዝሰርዕ
    ትኩር ሃርበኛዊ ኮሪዑ ዘዂርዕ

    ንእሽቶ ዓብዪ ኤርትራ ይብል
    ኣብ ሽግር መኸተ ኣብ ሓደ ዝሰጥም
    ህዱእ ርግቢ-ሰላም ንሓቂ ዘኽብር

  • ኣሌክ – Alec you

    Well done Eritrea👍🏿🇪🇷🇪🇷🇪🇷