Volume 1, Issue 4, December 2013, Page: 68-75
Sustaining Frafra Potato (Solenostemon rotundifolius Poir.) in the Food Chain; Current Opportunities in Ghana
Issah Sugri, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Manga Agriculture Station P.O. Box 46 Bawku, UER-Ghana
Francis Kusi, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Manga Agriculture Station P.O. Box 46 Bawku, UER-Ghana
Roger Adamu L. Kanton, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Manga Agriculture Station P.O. Box 46 Bawku, UER-Ghana
Stephen K. Nutsugah, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Manga Agriculture Station P.O. Box 46 Bawku, UER-Ghana
Mukhtar Zakaria, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Manga Agriculture Station P.O. Box 46 Bawku, UER-Ghana
Received: Sep. 12, 2013;       Published: Dec. 20, 2013
DOI: 10.11648/j.jps.20130104.14      View  3052      Downloads  217
Abstract
Frafra potato (Solenostemon rotundifolius Poir.)is one underutilized crop species which is critical to improving food security in the Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana. Food dishes of Frafra potato (FP) are a delicacy particularly for children. The tubers have high marketing potential even compared with its counterpart, sweet potato. However, crop improvement programmes in FP have been slow leading to the current varieties being recycled for several decades. Research tools such asfield survey, focused group discussions and key informant interviews were employed to gather information on production practices, challenges and strategies to improve FP production and utilization. Information was generated from 10 focused group discussions and 270 respondents in 5 districts. Overall, FP is produced under rain-fed agriculture by less than 30% farmers on less than ¼hectare/farmer. In Bongo, Kongo and Bolgatanga environs, FP is cultivated by over 70% of households to supplement household food. Production is primarily planned for domestic consumption; contributing up to 20% of household food between Octoberto December. Consumer preference traits included tuber size, starch, low water content, taste and ease of peeling. Key problems identified were decreasing soil fertility, lack of improve varieties, labour-intensive operations, insect pests and high postharvest losses. Crop improvement should target high yielding cultivars, large tuber size, white and pink flesh and biofortification with micro-nutrients. Processing tubers into stable preservable products using low-cost roasting, dry-frying and solar dehydration methods should be evaluated. Dissemination of current improved technologies to increase productivity requires prompt attention by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Keywords
Coleus dysentericus, Utilization, Food Security, Underutilized Crops, Challenges
To cite this article
Issah Sugri, Francis Kusi, Roger Adamu L. Kanton, Stephen K. Nutsugah, Mukhtar Zakaria, Sustaining Frafra Potato (Solenostemon rotundifolius Poir.) in the Food Chain; Current Opportunities in Ghana, Journal of Plant Sciences. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2013, pp. 68-75. doi: 10.11648/j.jps.20130104.14
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