POTATO GROWING STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPS)

CROP PROTECTION SPRAY PROGRAM

CROP PROTECTION SPRAY PROGRAM

LAND SELECTION

LAND SELECTION

Select land that is suitable for crop cultivation. i.e.
• Good drainage( loam soil, sandy loam soil)
• Gentle slope.
• Enough sunlight.
• Good infrastructure.(roads, Irrigation systems)
• Good previous history.

SOIL TESTING. (KNOW YOUR SOIL, KNOW YOUR LIFE!)

SOIL TESTING. (KNOW YOUR SOIL, KNOW YOUR LIFE!)

Done to determine suitability of land to grow crop (Potato).
>>Soil sampling techniques.
• Random technique
• Systematic sampling.
• V shape technique
• W shape technique
• Zig zag technique
• Pearson’s square technique
Common Types of soil tests.
1. Nutrition tests which comprises: Primary nutrients(N,P,K), Secondary nutrients (sulfur, Calcium, magnesium), Micro nutrients (iron, Manganese,Copper,Zinc, Boron,Molybdenum)
2. Pathogen tests which comprises: Blight, Bacterial wilt, Fusarium wilt, PCN,Acidity test/PH, Level of 5.5-6.5 recommended for potato.

LAND PREPARATION

LAND PREPARATION

1. Land clearing.
Chemical method – use of agrochemicals such as round up to eradicate weeds. Mechanical method – use of farm tools such as machetes and slashes.
2. Ploughing.
Use of manual force i.e. fork jembe, Use of mechanized force i.e. disc plough and chisel plough. Zero tillage – in conservation agriculture to minimize soil disturbance.
3. Harrowing.
Purpose is to achieve fine tilth that’s required by the potatoes to grow well.
4. Ridging.
This is the creation of raised mounds for growing potatoes, this can be done manually are by use of machinery. Ridges should be at least 30cm or 1 foot high. The ridges can be established before, during or after planting.

PLANTING

PLANTING

1. Soil adjustments.
These are liming and organic manure application and they are to be applied as per the soil test recommendations. The adjustments should be carried out before planting. However, some forms of lime can be applied during planting
2. Spacing.
Interplant spaces – potatoes require 30-45cm of space between plants. •Inter-row spaces – they require 75-100cm between rows.
3. Seed rate.
The potato seed rate is between 16-20 50kg bags. This depends on the seed size with the bigger size requiring more bags.
4. Fertilizer application.
The amount of fertilizer applied varies according to the soil test result. However, the average is normally 100kgs of NPK per Acre. Fertilizer is applied by mixing it with the soil first.
5. Planting.
It can be done manually by use of hand or by using mechanized potato planters. Mechanized planters plant on ridges whereas manual planting can be done on ridges or on flat surface and ridging to be done later.
6. Top dressing.
It can be done during planting or before flowering in 2 tranches.

CROP PROTECTION

CROP PROTECTION

1. Safety.
• Use of Protective gear (PPEs).
• Correct use of agrochemicals.
2. SSPs.
• These are trained and certified spray service providers (SSPs).
3. Weeding.
This is to remove any unwanted vegetation causing competition. • Manual weeding – by using farm equipment such as fork jembe or motorized weeders. • Chemical weeding – by use of selective herbicides.
4. Irrigation.
Establishment and use of irrigation during dry periods.
• Drip irrigation.
• Overhead irrigation.
• Surface irrigation.
5. Drenching.
Done before or during planting to eradicate destructive micro-organisms in the soil e.g. PCN, cutworms, millipedes. Mainly done by use of machinery.

PRE- HARVEST AND HARVESTING HANDLING

PRE- HARVEST AND HARVESTING HANDLING

1. Dehaulming.
It’s done to encourage proper maturation of the tubers. The practice is carried out at least 2 weeks to planned harvesting time.
2. Harvesting.
• Mechanized harvesting – done by use of machines on farms where mechanized planting was carried out.
• Manual harvesting – mostly done by use of hand tools using manual labor. Use of the right implements’ during harvest ensures that there’s minimal damage to the tubers at harvest hence reduce post-harvest losses.

POST-HARVEST HANDLING

POST-HARVEST HANDLING

1. Sorting.
• Damaged tubers - Tubers should be sorted to remove the diseased and the bruised tubers.
• Size – the tubers should be sorted according to size to separate the marketable yield from the unmarketable yield.
• Variety – tubers should be sorted according to variety
2. Storage.
• Tubers should be stored in standardized storage pallets for easy stacking.
• The storage facility should be temperature controlled.
• The storage facility should be free of any disease or insect or animal pests.

MARKETING

MARKETING

1. Weighing
To be weighed and packaged in 50kgs bags as per the regulations.
2. Transport
Use proper transport machines and stack the bags correctly.
3. Contract farming
This is the use of a pre signed agreement to ensure there’s market for the produce once harvested. Also protects farmer against price fluctuations.

FINANCIAL LITERACY

FINANCIAL LITERACY

1. Gross margin analysis - Net sales revenue minus the cost of goods.


2. Insurance – protection from financial loss a.k.a risk management.
Types of crop insurance:
• Weather based index – insurance for losses caused by weather e.g. severe flooding or drought.
• Multi-peril crop index – covers damage caused to the crop by any unforeseen conditions including occurring pests and diseases.
3. Savings – income not spent. This is money for future use meant to provide financial security.