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Potato

Potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. In Egypt the crop was introduced on a small scale during the nineteenth century. It is nowadays the second most important vegetable crop after.

Taxonomy:
Family:
Solanaceae
Genus:
Solanum
Species:
Solanum tuberosum
Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
Cultivation Areas:
Potato cultivation extends on the mountains to the north and south of Syria and to the valleys separating them. Potatoes are also grown on Mediterranean coast in the western part of the country. The highlands around Damascus (700–1400m above sea level) produce around 30% of annual production;  the internal regions including (Hammat, Homs and Alghab) are about 200–500 m above the sea level and contribute more than 60% of national production and coastal near Latakia and Tartus  produce the remainder.  In total, about 30Kha potatoes are grown in Syria and average yields are around of 25 tons / ha (high yield 35T/Ha are achievable under the right conditions).
in three seasons: spring, summer and autumn.
Main Varieties:
Main Varieties: Spunta - Draja - Diamant - Nicolas - Mondinyal - Lzita - Fabiola and Agrya.
Marketing Information and Uses:
Use:
The consumption of potato in Syria per capita is estimated at 35 kg. Potatoes are eaten cooked, boiled and fried.
Markets:
Most Syrian potatoes are locally consumed but exports are made to some Arab countries such as Kuwait, Jordan, Emirates.
Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
Soil Type:
Potato prefers Well-ventilated soil with good drainage. High salinity, calcium carbonate and drought all effect negatively on both the yield and starch content.
Temperatures:
The optimum temperature for grown and productivity is from 18 – 22C. Frost damage can occur if the temperature is lower than 4 C, also high temperatures effect tubers encouraging rot.
Water Requirements:
Irrigation is important for all crops periods except those grown in the rainfed areas along the coast and even there some irrigation also takes place. Most farmers use furrow irrigation but there is an increasing interest in sprinkle irrigation.
Nutrition Requirements:
Soil should be subject to soil analysis for nutrient availability.
Harvesting Period:
Spring planted potatoes are harvested in June; summer potatoes are harvested in August; autumn planted potatoes are harvested from November to February.
Harvesting Methods:
Potatoes are picked by hand following opening of the furrows by horse or tractor drawn equipment.

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