Potato farmers in Malawi and other developing countries lack healthy and quality potato seed. This is mainly due to limited seed multiplication programmes to provide farmers with clean potato seed. A study to evaluate minituber production potential for selected genotypes in different media types would assist in planning for future selection of good high yielding varieties. It will also assist in planning for rapid seed multiplication programme of pathogen free planting materials to increase production of potato in the country. Three different propagation media (vermiculite, sand and sawdust) and seven different genotypes (two local genotypes- Magalabada and Rosita, five introduced genotypes-Up to date, Buffelspoort, Van der plank, Lady Rosetta and Bp 1 2007) were investigated. Plantlets grown on vermiculite performed better with higher mini tuber yield of 1740 g/m2 for all genotypes while 850 and 292 g/m2 in sand and sawdust, respectively. Among the genotypes ‘Up to date’ and Lady Rosetta produced more tubers of between 12 tubers/plant and 10 tubers/plant. Thus, vermiculite increases the number and size of Minitubers which is a very important step for rapid multiplication of potato seed. The study findings provide valuable information for potential genotypes and propagation media to assist in scaling up seed multiplication programmes for pathogen free planting materials.
Key words: Propagation media, genotype, potato, minituber.