Irish Potatoes, Irish Support
Potato farmers in Mozambique face a number of challenges, beginning with seeds. 2SCALE works with Montesco SA (a distributor for HZPC-Netherlands) to build the seed chain, and to provide additional assistance – training, market linkages, business support among others – to help smallholders transition to profitable commercial farming.
Activities include support for regulatory government institutions to establish seed certification protocols. Three technicians (two from the National Agriculture Department and one from Montesco) visited Ireland for an intensive 10-day training on production, inspection and certification of potato seeds. The training was hosted by Irish research centers in two cities, Letterkenny-Denegal in Northern Ireland and Carlow in the south-east.
The trainees are now helping to develop seed certification procedures, which will be rolled out by the government in 2017. The goal is to build up a basket of high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties adapted to Mozambican conditions, and a network of seed producers to multiply ‘nucleus’ seed from Montesco into larger quantities for planting.