Item Details

Title: Sweetpotato crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa and
future challenges

Date Published: 2007
Author/s: Kapinga R., Zhang D., Lemaga B., Andrade M., Mwanga R., Laurie S. ,Ndoho P. and Kanju E
Data publication:
Funding Agency : CIP, SARRNET and PRAPACE
Copyright/patents/trade marks: ISTRC
Journal Publisher: ISTRC
Affiliation: International Potato Centre (CIP), Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda
International Potato Centre, Box 1258 Apartado, Lima, Peru 3
PRAPACE (Regional Programme for the Improvement of Potatoes and Sweetpotato in East and
Central Africa) Box 22274, Kampala, Uganda 4
IITA/SARRNET, P.O Box 2100, Maputo, Mozambique 5
Namulonge Agric. Research Institute, Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda 6
Agricultural Research Council Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute, Private Bag
X293, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa 7
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute-Kakamega, P.O. Box 169, Kakamega, Kenya 8
IITA/ SARRNET, Box 70192, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


In sub-Saharan Africa region, most
sweetpotato are produced from diverse
landraces that have constant turnover. The
preference for high dry matter is between 28
to 35%. CIP breeding strategy for the past 15
years has been to collect, characterize, and
conserve farmers’ varieties; evaluate and
distribute the best performers regionally. It
has also emphasised population development
through crosses and systematic screening
with partners using participatory methods.
Key stages of breeding programme
incorporate breeders, ICM specialists, postharvest technologists, social scientists,
consumers and farmers. To-date several
varieties have been released officially by the
national programmes and of recent orangefleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties have
been given emphasis in almost all the countries
in ASARECA and SADC regions. Varieties
such as: SPK004, Mogamba, Zapallo (for
children), Salyboro, Pumpkin, SPK 013, and
Kemb10 (yellow-fleshed), Zapallo, Japon
Tresminiso, Tainung 64, Resisto and Kandee
have gained popularity. Multiplication and
distribution of planting materials have
continued by individual farmers and
community based organizations. In Western
Kenya, about 30 million cuttings of mainlyOFSP varieties have been distributed to
farmers from KARI stations and local CBO’s/
NGO’s. In the Lake Zone of Tanzania, about 6
million of three newly released varieties (SP93/
23, SP93/2, and SP93/34) together with local
varieties Sinia and Simama (SPN/O); and in
Uganda farmers with BUCADEF and
SOCADIDO have distributed about 10 million
cuttings of the newly NARO released varieties
(NASPOTs 1-5) to farmers. Improved varieties
distributed in East African region, have
covered over 360 hectares of fields. In
Mozambique an estimated 154 ha have been
planted with improved varieties. Over 347,000
households in Mozambique have received at
least 200 vines of OFSP sweet potato and
projections are that over one million
households will have received planting
material by 2004.