Salt tolerant potato

Potato is a very important staple crop in Egypt and is grown in a large area. It is also an important export crop. Within the consortium, there is expertise on the salt tolerance of potato varieties and the effect of certain treatments on salt stress. One intervention to reduce salinity stress is increasing soil organic matter (SOM). Increasing SOM is known to have many benefits for farmers, such as:

  • Increased soil fertility
  • An increased buffer of nutrients (through Cation Exchange Capacity)
  • Better soil structure and water retention
  • Better rooting capacity and workability
  • Antagonistic effect to diseases

Besides agronomic benefits, it should also be mentioned that increasing soil organic matter is a sink of carbon dioxide. Because of these benefits, it is deemed both an adaptation and a mitigation measure in Climate Smart and Saline Agriculture.

For these reasons, it was decided to start a demonstration trial at the El Adlya farm of SEKEM to show the effects of different compost applications on selected potato varieties on a field with moderate soil salinity levels. This demonstration field allowed the consortium to validate the effects of cultivar choice and compost application, and to show these results to Egyptian farmers.

Field layout and salinity levels measured with EC(1:2) method
Potato harvest on Sekem farm

Taste test held as SEKEM for the harvested potatoes