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SASHA Brief 2013: Sweetpotato seed systems: A question of quantity and quality

Sweetpotato is a vegetatively propagated crop with short cropping cycle. In most cases each of the cropping cycle is started with planting cutting material, other than breeders who use true seeds. Normally, crop propagated vegetatively accumulate diseases resulting to adverse effects on yields. Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), most farmers source planting material from their own fields or from neighbors. While some farmers avoid using virus-infected vines, many do not. Moreover, many viruses are symptomless, impeding farmer selection of disease free or “clean” planting material. This brief is reporting on seed systems aimed at ensuring that growers have ready access to adequate quantities of planting material of preferred varieties, of the quality they need, at the time they are ready to plant and at a reasonable price. A major breakthroughs from this project has been to lower the cost of maintaining disease-free planting material at field level and to help farmers in drought-prone areas produce vines for the beginning of the rains. These achievements may truly help break the bottleneck of timely access to planting material for farmers.


Kreuze, F.J. and Gibson, R.W. 2013. Sweetpotato seed systems: A question of quantity and quality. International Potato Center (CIP).