Bumbamagera Potato

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) were introduced to Uganda in the late 19th or early 20th century. They are grown for both subsistence and commercial purposes, consumed as a vegetable or a staple, and often referred to as Irish potatoes, to distinguish them from sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas). The highlands of the Kabale and Kisoro districts, in southwestern Uganda, are particularly suited to potato cultivation.

The Bumbamagera variety has been introduced in the Kabale District in 1923. Bumbamagera in Luganda language means “to make life”, and this name has been given to this variety because it produces a lot, but in a short period of time (2 months). The leaves of the plant are green but they turn into yellow and fall off when it’s time to harvest. The plant can grow up to a meter high, the tuber is white and red, medium-sized.
The Bumbamagera, once harvested, usually from December to February, tends to quickly rot, so it needs to be well preserved, usually by storing them on dried grass in order to keep a cool temperature. This variety is traditionally boiled and served with other staple foods, but it is also fit for the preparation of chips (French fries) due to its adequate water content that allows a moderate use of oil, as well as for making crisps. Once cooked, the tuber is white, and it has a rather sweet taste.

This potato, like the other traditional Kabale Irish potatoes varieties, is threatened by the introduction of improved high yielding varieties that require chemical inputs. It has been neglected because it is less yielding, and because it needs to be harvested in time and well preserved in order not to rot. It is also a variety that requires space and the land in its area of production is often fragmented.

Back to the archive >




Other info


Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:John Wanyu