New technology increases confidence potato farmers Bangladesh

22 March, 2018

Original source: ICCO-Cooperation

SMS-service to control potato diseases


The project GEOPOTATO in Bangladesh provides a decision-support service by SMS to small farmers to control ‘late blight’ in potato production. Late blight (Phytophthora infestans) is the most common and highly destructive, fungal disease in potato, tomato and other solanaceae crops in Bangladesh. Annual potato yield losses due to late blight have been estimated at 25-57%. The project introduces the new technology to 30,000 farmers in Northwest Bangladesh during the 2017-18 potato season.


Assessment amongst potato farmers


In a recent assessment carried out by ICCO, in collaboration with BoPInc, farmers from the GEOPOTATO project share that the new technology has increased their confidence in potato farming. All subscribed farmers confirmed that they will keep following the SMS service throughout the remaining season, and they will also encourage others to subscribe as they feel that non-subscribed farmers are suffering from more attacks of late blight. Some farmers mentioned that the SMS service makes them feel more independent as they no longer need to rely on the advice of local retailers or agents. 


Public Private Partnership


ICCO co-implements the GEOPOTATO project with Wageningen University & Research (lead), TerraSphere, mPower, BCAS, and AIS. The project is supported by the program Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) of the Netherlands Space Office. The project builds linkages with both public and private sector to enhance the uptake by farmers once the project is finalized.

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