Irish Potatoes, Solanum tuberosum, is a tuber crop of the Solanaceae family. Much like other members of the family e.g tomatoes, sweet pepper, etc., Irish potatoes are short term crops. Irish potatoes come in ranging colors of white, orange, and purple.

Nutritional Value of Potatoes

Irish otatoes are high in carbohydrate, relatively low in protein but is a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and Vitamin B6. Irish potatoes have a very high Glycemic Index as such people with diabetics should avoid them.

Uses of Irish Potatoes

Apart from the use in making the infamous French fries and Mashed potatoes, Irish potatoes have more important uses. Potatoes are used to make starch, the starch is then used as glue, adhesives, bonding agents, thickeners, texture agents, fillers, etc across several industries.

Furthermore, the beauty industry uses irish potatoes as a mild bleaching agent.

Growing Irish Potatoes in Northern Nigeria

Soil Type

Potatoes can be grown in loose, well-drained soil with well decomposed organic mater.

Planting

Unlike sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes can only be grown using potato seeds. These sprouted potato seeds can be whole or cut into snips. Each snip should have at least 2 sprouts. Plant the seeds or snips 3cm – 5cm deep in ridges 50cm apart. The plants should germinate within 2-3 weeks.

Maintenance

Weed the plants and water adequately. Adjust the ridges especially after heavy rain. Ensure you do not damage young tubers during weeding

Harvest

Harvest should be ready after 3-4 months of planting. Carefully dig into the soil to pull out ridges. Leave the tubers to dry off and their skin to tighten for a few hours on the field. Store potatoes in a cool and dried place.

States Irish Potatoes are Predominantly Found in Northern Nigeria

Irish potatoes are grown in Northern Nigeria in Plateau, Kano, Katina, and Kaduna states.

Major Markets of For Irish Potatoes in Northern Nigeria

PLATEAUKasuwan Building Material, Kasuwan Farin Gada.

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