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Unleashing the potential of sweetpotato in Sub-Saharan Africa: Current challenges and way forward

The series of theme papers presented in this working paper were prepared in preparation for a Sweetpotato Challenge Workshop held in July 2008 in Addis Ababa. This workshop brought together experts in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, health, animal feed and marketing from all parts of SSA to engage and discuss how to best exploit the potential of sweetpotato to combat poverty and malnutrition. The theme papers were prepared in advance so that participants would have access to an up-to-date literature review as well as exposure to the thoughts of sweetpotato specialists in key areas under consideration for inclusion in the initiative. The ultimate goal is how to improve smallholder incomes and nutritional well-being through effective implementation of a sweetpotato commodity initiative. The six “Challenge themes” identified were: Challenge 1. Breeding How do we improve the yield, resilience, nutritional and market attributes of sweetpotato varieties available to farmers? Challenge 2. Seed Systems How do we increase the availability of healthy planting material in a timely manner and sustain vine multiplication efforts? Challenge 3. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato How can we get pro-vitamin A rich orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) into the diet of the most vulnerable groups? Challenge 4. Markets How do we improve the value chain for sweetpotato given its bulky nature, undiversified use, and image as a poor man’s crop? Challenge 5. Crop Management How can we best address the productivity bottlenecks in sweetpotato production and create the conditions for the adoption of improved practices? Challenge 6. Partnerships & Communication What skills, partnerships and communication strategies are needed to successfully implement a sweetpotato commodity initiative? Using information from the theme papers combined with extensive discussion and debate among participants, a consensus on what should be the driving vision for the next 10 years for this initiative and objectives was reached. The strategic vision is to reposition sweetpotatoes in African food economies, particularly in expanding urban markets, to reduce child malnutrition and improve smallholder incomes.

Authors: , Ian Barker, Donald Cole, Segundo Fuentes, Wolfgang Gruneberg, Regina Kapinga, Jurgen Kroschel, Ricardo Labarta, Berga Lemaga, Cornelia Loechl, Jan W. Low, Oscar Ortiz, Andreas Oswald, Graham Thiele, Howard Elliott, John Lynam, Harrison Kwame Dapaah, Robert Mwanga, , Ian Barker, Donald Cole, Segundo Fuentes, Wolfgang Gruneberg, Regina Kapinga, Jurgen Kroschel, Ricardo Labarta, Berga Lemaga, Cornelia Loechl, Jan W. Low, Oscar Ortiz, Andreas Oswald, Graham Thiele, Howard Elliott, John Lynam, Harrison Kwame Dapaah, Robert Mwanga

Contributors: Jan W. Low, Jan W. Low

Pages:

Publisher: International Potato Center

Publication Date: 2009

Identifier: ISSN 0256-8748

Rights: CIP publications contribute important development information to the public arena. Readers are encouraged to quote or reproduce material from them in their own publications. As copyright holder CIP requests acknowledgement, and a copy of the publication where the citation or material appears

Keywords: Breeding, Crop management, markets, Orange fleshed sweetpotato, seed system, Sub Saharan Africa (SSA)

HOW TO CITE

Andrade, M., Barker, I., Cole, D., Dapaah, H., Elliott, H., Fuentes, S.,Grüneberg, W., Kapinga, R., Kroschel, J., Labarta, R., Lemaga, B., Loechl, C., Low, J., Lynam , J., Mwanga, R., Ortiz, O., Oswald, A. and Thiele, G. 2009. Unleashing the potential of sweetpotato in SubSaharan Africa: Current challenges and way forward. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru. Working Paper 2009-1. 197 p.