Potato Germplasm for Organic Production (I) Agronomic Characters in the Mid-Mountain Zone of Benguet

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Belinda A. Tad-awan Donita K. Simongo Esther Josephine D. Sagalla Charlotte C. Shagol Janet P. Pablo Cynthia G. Kiswa


Organic potato production would be profitable if varieties planted are adapted to low input conditions and tolerant to diseases and insects, thus, the need to select varieties under such conditions.

Potato accessions from different sources were evaluated in different production sites representing the mid-mountain zone of Benguet (1,300- 2,000 m above sea level) in 2005-2006. Using a modified evaluation scheme, potato accessions have undergone a series of evaluation based on agronomic characters such as yield, resistance to late blight and canopy cover.

Out of 55 potato accessions evaluated during the preliminary trial at the BSU organic farm, 15 accessions were selected. Multilocation trials of the 15 accessions were conducted in four production sites with elevations ranging from 1,336 to 1,638 m above sea level.

Potato accessions CIP 13.1.1, CIP 676089, CIP 380251.17, BSU and CIP 676070 produced the highest tuber yield per hill across locations and planting seasons. These accessions also showed resistance to late blight in all production sites.

The result suggests that organic production of potato is feasible with the use of suitable potato accessions which may eventually lead to sustainable production in the Philippine highlands.

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