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SASHA Brief 2011: Exploiting sweetpotato as an animal feed in East Africa

East Africa has the highest per capita consumption of livestock products than any other sub-Saharan Africa region. High livestock population is pressurizing the competition for grains between use as food or as livestock feed. The problem is further compounded by a lack of quality feed year-round, with major shortages during the dry season that severely affect the lactation cycle. Quality feed concentrates are too expensive for many farmers, this lead to use of mixed crop and livestock systems that draw heavily on locally available feed ingredients. Increasing use and production of sweetpotato as animal feed may be an important part of the solution. Sweetpotato offers great potential as animal feed. The vine provides more protein and dry matter per unit area than other staple feeds and requires less land to produce. However, its potential as feed or as a dual purpose crop (food and feed) has not been fully exploited in Sub-Saharan Africa. This brief reports on project progress towards exploiting sweetpotato as an animal feed in East Africa. The early results from this project identified “best bet” varieties for dual purpose and forage uses with pigs and dairy cattle, along with promising silage blends for boosting feed supply and nutrition.


Lukuyu, B. and Agili, S. 2011. Exploiting sweetpotato as an animal feed in East Africa. International Potato Center (CIP).