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Getting ready for sweetpotato production

Farmers are always on the look out for new varieties with better characteristics, such as a higher yield potential, good root characteristics (determined by shape, flesh colour, dry matter content, nutritional value etc), appreciable tolerance to major pests and diseases, drought tolerance, a better taste, a higher market price, the ability to produce enough planting material, long in-ground storability, and with a shorter period to harvest. However, can we expect breeders to produce a super variety like that? The fact is that a short duration variety automatically has a relatively lower yield potential, and often high yielding varieties lose on taste. Besides, each variety performs differently under different situations, depending on location-specific and seasonal conditions, highlighting the importance of varieties being tested with farmers under different agro-ecological zones so that farmers can select those most likely to perform well in their specific locations. Farmers must therefore bear these conflicts in mind in order to choose varieties that fit and perform best under their prevailing farming conditions.