J.T. Koi, H.A. Mendoza, D. Njualem, P. Demo, V. Deffo and S.F. Nana
Until 1994, potato growers in Cameroon mainly cultivated European and a few old local varieties most of which had greatly degenerated and are too susceptible to late blight. Improvement of potato varieties in the IRAD-CIP Potato Project started in early 1988 and has been mainly carried out by selecting varieties from advanced genetic material originating from the International Potato Center (CIP) Lima-Peru. During the past nine years, the Project has evaluated over 30000 advanced genotypes and in 1992, two improved varieties (Cipira and Tubira) were released. In comparative yield and disease resistance trials carried out in 1996 and 1997 using advanced clones with two European varieties, Cipira and Tubira as checks, Cipira and Tubira both showed a significant superiority in yield stability due to their wide adaptation and tolerance to late blight. From the results of the 1996 and 1997 multilocational evaluations, a new group of 5 advanced clones has been identified with performances equal or better than those of Cipira, Tubira, Famosa and Desiree. Some of these advanced clones are tolerant to late blight and virus diseases, mature earlie and have a shorter dormancy which permits two crops per year. One or more of these will likely be released as a new variety or varieties within 1 -2 years.