UK keen to support Zambia’s potato farming – British envoy

British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane said his government has invested US$5 million to support white (Irish) potato production.

“This will boost agriculture production and contribute to the country’s economic diversification programme,” the British envoy told local media. Cochrane said the money will benefit a farm in Northern Province’s Katito area. Its proximity to the Great lakes region makes it ideal for exporting the crop.

Potato is the fourth most important crop in the world and more people are eating it globally. As a result, its production in Zambia has increased significantly over the last 10 years, with annual figures well above 30 000 tons.
Zambia has three major potato growing seasons.

The single rain fed, or summer crop, is generally planted in November when the mean maximum temperature is 30°C and the mean minimum is 17°C. The first irrigated crop is planted in February or March when the mean maximum temperature is 27°C and the mean minimum is 16°C. A second irrigated crop is planted in July.

Production is mainly driven by commercial farmers and non-commercial production, including backyard gardens.

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