Productivity of Some Hausa Potato Accessions (Solenostemon rotundifolius (Poir) J. K. Morton in Jos-Plateau Environment
The Hausa potato (Solenostemon rotundifolius (Poir)) J. K. Morton is a tropical, multipurpose crop with different economic values. Its productivity is, however, low in terms of fresh tuber yield in the accessions available for cultivation in Nigeria. Consequently, many farmers are not encouraged to cultivate the crop, thereby limiting its popularity. This study was, therefore, designed to screen different accessions of the Hausa potato for productivity in the Jos-Plateau environment, Nigeria. The nine accessions (Manchok 1, Manchok 2, Bokkos 1, Bokkos 2, Bikka-Baban, Mujir, NRCRI, (White), Tukwak and Langtang) were laid out in a randomized complete block design with five (5) replications. Results indicate that percentage emergence, number of branches per plant, leaf area index (LAI), days to flowering, number of flowers per plant, relative growth rate, net assimilation rate, tuber length, tuber girth, root-top ratio, stand count at harvest, mean tuber weight, dry matter content and fresh tuber yield varied with accessions. Positive correlations were observed between the number of branches and number of flowers and mean tuber weight, root-top ratio and tuber yield, relative growth rate and net assimilation rate, tuber length and harvest index, relative growth rate and harvest index, tuber length and mean tuber weight as well as harvest index. The relative growth rate and net assimilation rate were also positively correlated. Moisture content was negatively correlated with nitrogen free extract. Protein was positively correlated with NFE (0.553*), but negatively correlated with calcium (-0.855**). Ash content and iron were negatively correlated (-0.655*). Total tuber yield was generally low in all the accessions. The positive associations among some growth and yield attributes suggests that these attributes could be used as selection indices in the improvement of the Hausa potato. The crop has the potential to address vitamin C deficiency in children. There is, therefore, the need to intensify research and popularize the production and consumption of the crop. The study also suggests investigation into the source-sink relationship in the Hausa potato.
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