Disease-free and well maintained planting materials will ensure healthy and high yielding harvests of crops.
Therefore, commercial sweetpotato farmers especially in the Highlands region are financially investing in igloos or screen houses to grow out their sweetpotato plants in a protective environment before it is planted in the field.
Screen houses are designed to protect young sweetpotato plants from insects like aphids and white flies that transmit viruses. The viruses are usually passed from diseased vines to new sweetpotato leaves.
Farmers use screen houses to grow and prepare disease-free planting materials to grow themselves or sell to farmers to grow in their field. This method has helped
farmers to continue producing disease-free vines for commercial production throughout the year.
Disease free sweetpotato planting materials are prepared in a sterile environment inside the laboratory before being transferred and grown inside screen houses at the NARI Highlands Regional Centre. Vines from well established sweetpotato varieties are then supplied to screen house owners at several locations in the Highlands.
The use of clean and quality planting materials ensure farmers get high yields of their crop.
For information on the screen house, check out this website: www.fernland.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Further information on how to manage clean sweetpotato planting materials for production in Papua New Guinea is available. The manual, ‘Klin Kaukau Farmer Screen House Management’ can be accessed at www.nari.gov.pg.