Sweetpotato Production and Management
Sweetpotato has the potential to produce remarkably high yields if given the right growing conditions. Sweetpotato can also yield more reliably under unfavourable conditions than many other crops, which is why it is so important for household food security in many places in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Unlike the potato, which is a tuber, or thickened stem, the sweetpotato is a storage root and is vegetatively propagated (sown by vine cuttings rather than seeds). Planting material can be easily and rapidly multiplied from very few roots.
There is ongoing work across the SSA, addressing the best environmental factors that influence sweetpotato production – soil and nutrients, water, light and temperature – with their management, and with production practices that can help to reliably produce good sweetpotato crops.
Farmer knowledge of best management practices for sweetpotato may vary between farmers, gender and regions. In most parts of SSA, the gender dimension of land ownership and decision making also plays a role in sweetpotato production and management practices.