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SASHA Brief 09: Rice-Sweetpotato Rotation System: Improving Rice Yields and Profitability while Providing Sweetpotato Planting Material and Food in Irrigated Rice Schemes in Northern Uganda

After three seasons, the overall results for the sweetpotato-rice rotation show that average root yields in the rotation treatment were significantly higher (average yield= 28 t ha-1) than in the control (average yield= 19.8 t ha-1). Paddy yield of rice grown after sweetpotato was also significantly higher than the control (p=0.001) where rice followed rice. The rice yield gain due to the rotation ranged from 35% to 8% above the control. This shows that yields of rice and sweetpotato can be enhanced by rotating rice and sweetpotato as opposed to continuous mono-cropping of either crop. Results also show that the revenue to cost ratio1 for both rotation and mono-cropping is greater than 1 (i.e., 2.15 for rotation and 1.72 for mono-cropping) which indicates that both approaches are generating revenue more than the cost of production, but the rotation generates more revenue compared to mono-cropping, higher by 0.43. The rotation ensures: a) profitable utilization of land because sweetpotato roots and vines can be sold for income; b) farmers can have sweetpotato cuttings to plant at the beginning of the upland growing season, and c) fields are easier to manage for the next rice crop, thereby reducing costs of land preparation.