What is an Aeroponic system?
Aeroponics System is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. The technology is widely used by commercial potato seed producers in eastern Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania etc.), and southern Africa (Mozambique, Malawi etc.) but successfully growing yam on aeroponics is a novelty for rapidly multiplying the much needed clean seed yam tubers in large quantities.
Preliminary results showed that vine rooting in Aeroponics System had at least 95% success rate compared to vine rooting in carbonized rice husk with a maximum rate of 70%. Rooting time was much shorter in aeroponics.
Aeroponics is coming at an opportune time for African farmers. Traditionally, seed yam production is expensive and inefficient. Farmers save about 25 to 30% of their harvest for planting the same area in the following season, meaning less money in their pockets.
Moreover, these saved seeds are often infested with pathogens that significantly reduce farmers’ yield year after year.
However with an established Aeroponics System for seed yam propagation at the premises of an interested private investor, seed company or humanitarian nongovernmental organization; yam producers can have access to clean seed yams.
The soilless yam propagation system will increase the productivity of seed and ware yam and effectively reduce diseases and pests incidence and severity (no soilborne or vector-transmitted pests and diseases during the vegetative phase).