The main varieties of potato grown in Morocco are Nicola, Spunta, Mondial, Lysetta, Gandor and Desiree. Nicola production is almost exclusively for the export market, while Desiree and Spunta are the leading varieties on the local market. In general, farmers in North Africa and the Middle East import potato seeds from Europe. This presents several disadvantages; European seed is expensive (consuming up to 30% of the production budget) and is unavailable during the optimal planting season. For example, European seed is only available in Morocco from November to January while the ideal planting time for many farmers is August or September. In order to overcome these difficulties, The Farm developed a system to produce high-quality, certified, virus-free seed locally. If you would like to purchase potato seed, please get in touch.
The potato seed production cycle at The Farm is two years. It begins with the careful selection/screening of explants for in vitro propagation. The explants are multiplied in the lab to produce a clean stock of initial plantlets. These are then grown in screenhouses to produce first generation (G1) tubers. After testing to control infestation levels, the tubers are transferred to low-temperature storage for three to four months in order to break dormancy, at which point they become 'G1 seed'. This seed can then be multiplied into the desired quantity by repeated cylces of field cropping, pathology testing and cold storage. The Farm limits the number of multiplication cycles in order to maintain high quality and low contamination levels; we sell G3 or G4 seed.
Seed produced in Morocco is available in September or January. We are ready to produce any variety unencumbered by patents, including Nicola, Spunta and Desiree; please contact us for more information.