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SASHA Brief 2016: Expanded and Sustained Uptake of the Accelerated Breeding Scheme (ABS) Approach

The most important constraints to sweetpotato production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are shortage of high quality planting material and lack of improved OFSP varieties. The conventional breeding approach followed for decades by breeding programs starts with population development (generation of genetic variation through production of botanical seed) and ends with selection of the ‘’best’’ individuals in the breeding population and variety release. This conventional breeding approach takes 7 to 8 years to release a variety.  From our findings and the pressure to make a difference in farmer’s lives faster, variety release via the ‘conventional’ breeding scheme is no longer adequate.