Characterization of potato production, marketing and utilization were undertaken in four zones of North Westren Amhara Region namely West Gojjam, East Gojjam, South Gonder and Awi based on their potato production on 158 farmers in 2010 to 2011. The main objective of the study was to characterize and document as well as to assess the challenges of existing potato production, marketing and utilization systems based on primary and secondary data. Potato is mainly produced in main, residual and irrigation production seasons in the study zones. Farmers plow their potato farm at least four times before planting and cultivate two to four times. They use an average potato seed tuber rate of about 2.008 tons per hectare. Farmers use local potato varieties for a long period of time and their average productivity is only 7.26 ton per hectare in main season production, and only 21.5% of farmers use improved potato varieties. Potato seed sources for farmers’ are own production, market, research and Agriculture office. About 75% of the sample farmers store ware potato after harvest for about 3.84 months using floor, raised bed (“kott”), and in the soil. Half of the potato produced are consumed at home while the rest are reserved for seed and sold. Farmers consume potato in the form of boiled and stew. Major constraints of potato production include disease, soil nutrient depletion, moisture stress, frost, pest, lack of improved varieties, water shortage and lack of market access.
Key words: Potato, characterization, production, consumption.
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