Sweetpotato in Asia

Sustainable strategies for reducing poverty

In Asia’s rapidly developing economy, rural poverty persists, with more than 200 million rural poor living on less than US$1 a day. Vibrant growth and evolving markets mean that knowledge about how to adapt small scale farming systems to change is a crucial tool for increasing their incomes.

Asia accounts for 86 percent of world sweetpotato production, with China alone contributing 80 percent. Sweetpotato is also a major crop in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other Pacific Islands. In South Asia, sweetpotato is an important staple for food security, but much of the sweetpotato grown in the region is destined for animal feed or processing.

CIP priorities are on providing adapted varieties that are nutritious, can be used for food and feed, are tolerant to drought and salinity, and are pest and disease resistant. Projects train farmers in sweetpotato crop management, with efforts directed at adding value, developing products, improving collaboration, and strengthening links throughout the market chain.

In other projects the development of cheap, nutritious sweetpotato based feed formulas reduces production costs, resulting in greater gross margins for the region’s farmers who largely depend on mixed crop-livestock agricultulture.

Approximately 45 percent of the world’s vitamin A-deficient (VAD) children and pregnant women live in South and Southeast Asia. The condition causes blindness, disease and premature death. and although the use of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) in Asia to combat VAD is not yet as advanced as it is in Africa, CIP is introducing varieties that are rich in Vitamin A along with successful outreach programs promoting their consumption

CIP priorities for sweetpotato in Asia include

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