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Poster: Progress in breeding in Rwanda: Incorporating Feedback from Farmers

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is an important food crop in many parts of Africa, especially in Sub Saharan countries. In Rwanda, it is cultivated throughout the country and is especially important in densely populated areas of the plateau central (mid altitude), and Bugesera(low altitude) Ndirigwe, 2006; Njeruetal, 2008). Although it is considered as a “flexible crop” due to its ability to produce under adverse weather and soil conditions, most of cultivated sweetpotato varieties are white fleshed cultivars characterized by low yield and low tolerance to sweetpotato virus diseases. Usually breeding and selecting genotypes for the important production zones can take up to 8 years for a varieties to go for release. However,using innovative Accelerating Breeding Scheme (ABS) proposed by Grüneberg et al; 2009, new sweetpotato varieties have been released in three years and promoted across all agro-ecological zones in Rwanda.