How to Grow Potatoes in Zimbabwe: From Planting to Harvest!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Potato Production in Zimbabwe

Potatoes, also known as Irish Potatoes, are a member of the Solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, peppers, tobacco and eggplants. 

In Zimbabwe, the crop is grown mostly for the fresh and processing markets. The potato is an expensive crop to grow, requiring high variable costs but it does offer high returns per dollar invested if done well. As a result, potato farming in Zimbabwe is practised primarily by large-scale commercial farmers with smallholder (emerging) farmers cultivating smaller hectarages. 

According to AGRITEX, it costs between US$6000 to US$8000 to produce a hectare of potatoes. Potato yields range from 15-40 tonnes per hectare, although national yields are well below 10 tonnes per hectare. There are a number of factors contributing to poor yields especially amongst small-scale farmers. Some of the reasons will be highlighted later, but first, we will focus on general potato agronomy.

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