Sweetpotatoes can be grown on marginal land with few inputs, and orange-fleshed varieties can make a major contribution to the diets of people at risk for malnutrition. With two billion people suffering poor nutrition globally and 3.1 million child deaths attributable to micronutrient deficiencies, there is an urgent need to get nutritious crops like orange-fleshed sweetpotato to more people in Africa and Asia.
The book chapter “Improving the breeding, cultivation and use of sweetpotato in Africa,” written by scientists Putri Ernawati Abidin and Edward Carey, offers useful insight into the state of sweetpotato breeding and dissemination. Focusing on Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, Abidin and Carey draw from their combined decades of experience in sweetpotato breeding and project management as part of their work with the International Potato Center.
The authors present a detailed overview of sweetpotato in Africa, from breeding and seed systems to commercialization and marketing, and they offer some possible paths for future research trends.
The chapter is contained in the book “Achieving sustainable cultivation of potatoes, Volume 1: Breeding improved varieties,” edited by Gefu Wang-Pruski and published by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited.
Consult the chapter