Partnerships for improving sweetpotatoes in Africa

Craig Yencho from NCSU and Mercy Kitavi (formerly working at CIP under the sweetpotato genomics project) inspect some sweetpotato material in the screenhouses located at the ILRI-BeCA hub. Photo: N.Ronoh (CIP)

Dr. Craig Yencho’s work on improvement of sweetpotatoes in Africa was recently featured on the news blog at the North Carolina State University, his home institution.

A long-term collaborator with the International Potato Center (CIP), Yencho is leading research on new genomic tools to improve sweetpotato breeding. Currently, he is part of SweetGAINS, a CIP-led project that seeks to accelerate and expand the development and dissemination of nutrient-rich, climate-resilient sweetpotato varieties to benefit millions more African families.

Specifically, Yencho leads SweetGAINS’ work package three (WP3), which consists of teams spread out across 15 time zones.  WP3 aims to deploy proof-of-concept, marker-assisted breeding and genomic-selection tools in National Root Crops Research Institutes (NaCRRI) and CIP programs in Uganda to enhance breeding efficiency. The team will then gradually roll out these tools to other breeding programs.

Read more about Craig’s work: NC State Researchers Continue Improving Sweetpotatoes for Africa