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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-09-01 - 2019-12-31

Conservation and utilization of soil fertility is among the key objectives of sustainable cropping system intensification. Cover cropping is a well-established and efficient agro-environmental measure for groundwater protection, erosion control and stabilization of soil organic matter content. Currently there is hardly any scientific information available to quantify cover crop induced mobilization of soil nutrients with low mobility and thereby estimate potential positive effects on a subsequent main crop. Based on soil and plant nutrient analyses for 13 different cover crops and a bare soil control from a field trial, a database for cover crop nutrient mobilization will be established and the effect on nutrient uptake and yield of the subsequent main crop will be determined.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-04-01 - 2017-11-30

Two different systems of potato tower ("Simple" und "Profi"), both protoypes form the company Buttazoni GmbH, 9562 Himmelberg, will be tested regarding their suitability for potato cultivation. In the system „Simple“ the tower elements will be placed alternated to allow the planting of potatoes in the corners of every element. In the system „Profi“, the elements will be placed directly above each other. During the vegetation period, the elements will be constantly filled up with soil. Development, growth and yield of plants will be assessed.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-07-01 - 2020-06-30

The proposed project would address the poor quality of potato planting material (hereafter “seed”), which is an important problem for many smallholder households in Georgia. Potato is a main staple crop in Georgia’s diet and economy. In spite of its importance, the crop faces many productivity constraints. Average yields are around 12 t/ha, well below both the country’s attainable yields of ~30 t/ha. Thus, there is a large gap between attainable and actual yields. Potato seed degeneration (PSD) leads to yield loss and yield instability. PSD is successfully managed in high-income economies with certified seed systems, within which the pathogens are cleaned from the seed. But efforts to develop such systems in lower- and lower-middle income countries have not been successful. The Integrated Seed Health (ISH) strategy integrates resistance in the plant to PSD pathogens and on-farm management practices (e.g., positive selection [PS] in which farmers identify healthy looking plants as seed providers) and adequate storage, with strategic use of high quality seed (e.g., certified seed). This project will build on recent advances in ISH developed as part of RTB. The project will produce evidence and tools to guide Georgian government efforts to strengthen the potato seed system and the extensive value chain it sustains. The proposed project would empower local stakeholders to provide critical elements (evidence, recommendations, tools, training materials, and enhanced human capacity) to the larger CIP–MoA initiative, thus ensuring immediate and significant outcomes. Increased availability of high quality potato crop would also provide benefits for consumers, with lower and/or more stable prices. In the medium term, an additional gain for consumers, and the people of Georgia, would be realized by expediting access to potato varieties enriched with micronutrients such as iron and zinc that CIP is currently developing.

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