Going beyond an integrated disease management approach to manage potato diseases

Published on
September 24, 2020

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the most important crops that feed the world. In Africa, potato production is on the rise, offering hope to considerably contribute to food and nutrition security to millions of smallholder farmers. However, diseases such as late blight and bacterial wilt hamper potato production, particularly in east African countries, where many smallholder farmers' livelihood depends on this crop.

A PhD research conducted in Ethiopia from 2016-2020 has shown that an integrated disease management (IDM) approach is not adequate to deal with complex potato diseases. According to the study's finding, for effective management of bacterial wilt and late blight of potato, both technical and social innovations are needed. Therefore, in addition to IDM, interdependent smallholder farmers should embark on a collective action approach. This finding contributes to developing effective strategies to tackle crop diseases that threaten efforts towards SDG2 by putting pressure on the global food system.