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SASHA Brief 2011: Breeding in Africa for Africa

National sweetpotato breeding programs are time consuming and delay to produce new variety. Frequently those new varieties do not suit the various geographic areas and the preferences of diverse farmers and consumers within a country. Most countries have no real breeding program and rely on testing materials developed elsewhere, which in some cases works well, but not when agro-ecological conditions are quite distinct. In this brief, three Sweetpotato Support Platforms (SSPs) have been established to revolutionize conventional sweetpotato breeding. This mean to redesign sweetpotato breeding protocols in Africa to produce varieties in fewer years. Some achievement witnessed resulting from accelerated breeding program include; release of sweetpotato varieties in Mozambique. This method has been observed to speed up the rate at which new improved preferred varieties reach farmers and consumers. Experiments have confirmed the existence of exploitable heterosis for use in sweetpotato breeding, which could substantially boost sweetpotato yields.


Mwanga, R., Andrade, M. and Carey, T. 2011. Breeding in Africa for Africa. International Potato Center (CIP).