The National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) has disclosed that over 32,000 hectares of Potato farm was destroyed last year by Potato late blight disease in Plateau state.
He also said the development is a threat to food security in Nigeria.
The trial manager Potato Research Programme, NRCRI, Mr. Kahya Shuaibu, made the disclosure at the multi-locational confined field trial, Green field day at the Faculty of Agriculture Plateau State University Bokkos at the weekend.
Shuaibu also charged NRCRI Scientists to develop more technologies in the area of improved potato varieties resistance to Bacteria wilt, Nematodes as well as proper management of potato viruses for sustainable food security in Nigeria.
According to him, the greenfield days are normally organised to serve the dual purpose to increase the adoption of new technologies and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the target crops, which is expected to result in increased yield and sustainable income for the farmers to improve their livelihoods.
He also said the events aim to create avenues for farmers, agricultural extension workers, researchers to share knowledge and experiences among themselves on the interventions being demonstrated and also intended to show case our research findings.
He pointed out that the NRCRI collaborates with National and International partners, ‘The Feed the Future Global Biotechnology Potato Partnership’(GBPP) adding that the choice of Plateau State trails is because 90 percent of potato produced in Nigeria is from Plateau state.
In their separate remarks, head of Station NRCRI Kuru, Dr. Nwadili, Christian and Dean Faculty of Agriculture Plateau State University Bokkos, Dr Istifanus Hosea Funangwi, said Potato is a staple food for millions of Nigerians and beyond and major a source of income for farmers especially in Plateau state.
According to them, Potato sector faces a number of challenges including low productivity, inadequate access to market and more importantly, to pests and diseases adding that they is urgent need to find ways to increase potato productivity, make potato sector more resilient to pests and diseases.