This year was a first for the Europlant varieties Jelly and Donata in Libyan soil. Planting took place in February. Now that all potatoes have been harvested and some farmers are already preparing for the second season which is starting from half August, let’s take a closer look at how things went:

The potatoes arrived in good state by container, from where they were transported to their storage.

After transport to the farmers they were kept for several days at outside temperatures, which helps to wake the potatoes up and prepare them for planting. Planting was done by Grimme planter as well as by hand.

 

Shortly after emergence the potatoes were hilled up, by mechanical Grimme ridging hiller as well as by plough. Making big and sturdy ridges it essential as this provides the potatoes with more space in which to develop (the whole crop will form above the mother potato) and will lead to bigger tubers. It also prevents potatoes from becoming exposed to the surface, which can lead to sun burn and subsequent rot.

Growing conditions this season were hot and dry. Both Jelly and Donata develop strong foliage, ensuring good tuber growth under difficult weather conditions. When growing Jelly, attention should be paid however to give up to at least 20% less N, otherwise most energy of the plant will go into developing a strong foliage instead of big tubers.

Farmers made sure to harvest early in the day, before the onset of big heat, and the tubers were stored in cooled trucks. Yields were achieved of 45 ton per ha for Donata and 46 ton for Jelly, after 135 and 144 days respectively.

Now look what Salem Zoura, the owner of the company Frites, did with them :) : If you are curious to taste Jelly and Donata, come to one of the two Frites stores in Tripoli, either at the shop in Novlyeen street, next to Novlyeen supermarket, or at the one in Alsyaheya, next to the Badr Mosque, or in Benghazi, next to the Arab medical University.