| International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science (ISSN: 2251-0044) Vol. 3(8) pp. 291-301, August, 2013. DOI: http:/dx.doi.org/10.14303/irjas.2013.084
Copyright © 2013 International Research Journals
Full Length Research Paper
A technical appraisal of potato value chain in Nigeria
*Ugonna C.U, Jolaoso M. O, Onwualu A. P.
Raw Materials Research and Development Council 17, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria
*Corresponding Authors E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The study was commissioned to examine the value chain analysis of Irish potato as an industrial raw material in Nigeria. Potatoes in Nigeria are cultivated mainly by small, rural farmers in marginal areas of the country mostly in the Jos, Manbilla, Plateau and the Obudu Hills. The potato varieties contain a wide range of genetic properties which are relevant for current and future breeding purposes. The research draws attention to the three sub-chains identified within the Nigerian potato value chain; namely the production of potato for immediate consumption, the manufacturing of traditional products, potato production for industrial processing and marketing of fresh potato and potato products. Whilst all the three sub-chains can be used to improve income, the first two contribute greatly towards the conservation of biological diversity and are suitable for small farmers. Further investigation revealed that there are good varieties of potatoes available in Nigeria, although their potency has been reduced due to several usages. However, only a few are suitable for industrial processing based on their requirements with regard to quantity and quality. Nigeria has been identified as the fourth biggest producer of potato in Sub-Saharan Africa with production yield of about 843,000 tonnes per year. Despite the progress made in potato development in Nigeria, there are still some constraints which limit its production, processing and marketing. These include inadequate supply of good quality seeds, inadequate storage facilities, poor diseases, and pests’ management which affects the yield and value addition to potato crop. Potato farming for industrial use was identified to have gained momentum, opening the scope for the existence and prospective flakes, starch, flour and chips makers to get the supply of raw materials to boost operations. To improve the value chain of potato the following suggestions were made; to use the value chain approach to fill the gaps through an efficient process technology and increased utilization of potato as an industrial raw materials; encourage more research work on the poor variety of seeds that is currently used by famers; the use of modern agricultural equipment to enhance the mass production of potato; to improve the storage facilities available and to encourage collaboration of relevant organisations to reverse the areas of weakness and boost awareness creation of the importance of potatoes as important energy source.
Keywords: Potato, value chain, raw materials, Production, Processing, storage.
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