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SASHA Brief 2013: Breeding in Africa for Africa

Africa has long relied on traditionally breeding systems that are a time consuming to release improved variety. Frequently those new varieties do not suit the various geographic areas and the preferences of diverse farmers and consumers within a country. Indeed, as of 2008, most countries in Africa had no real breeding program or dedicated breeders and relied on testing materials developed elsewhere, which in some cases works well, but not when agro-ecological conditions are quite distinct. This project seeks to revolutionize conventional sweetpotato breeding by redesign sweetpotato breeding protocols in Africa to produce varieties in fewer years. The involvement of sweetpotato support platforms for investment in Breeding in Africa for Africa is beginning to pay off. Since 2009, eight Sub-Saharan African countries have released 46 improved sweetpotato varieties, of which 31 are orange-fleshed.


Mwanga, R., Andrade, M. and Carey, T. 2013. Breeding in Africa for Africa. International Potato Center (CIP).