High yielding. Pest resistant. Sweet. Starchy. Just a few of the preferences that farmers in Malawi have about orange fleshed sweetpotato. To better understand these preferences and understand farmer needs the International Potato Center carries out farmer participatory evaluation using an approach called Mother & Baby.
So what does this mean and why is it the preferred approach in Malawi?
A little sweetpotato history to get us started… The Malawi Department of Agriculture Research Services (DARS), with support from the International Potato Center (CIP), AGRA and others, has been developing, evaluating and releasing new and promising sweetpotato varieties for the past three decades in Malawi. The variety named ‘Kenya’, for example, was released in 1988 and has since been widely adopted by farmers across Malawi.