The changing climatic and edaphic conditions coupled with consumer preferences require the development of new superior varieties of sweetpotato. These varieties should be stable, high yielding, disease and pest tolerant as well as processor and consumer preferred. To facilitate enhanced technology transfer and adoption clean and healthy planting materials (breeder seeds) will be produced for targeted clientele.
The Sweetpotato Programme targets to improve key traits such as dry matter content, beta-carotene content, starch yield, minerals, vitamins, sugars, fiber, pests and disease resistance. The identification and utilisation of superior clones for introgression of genes for these key traits help to create new potential lines which are evaluated and selected based on a set of criteria of which yield, pest and disease resistance, nutrient level and commercial value for utilisation are key. Thus, creation of genetic variation and selection of superior clones with desired traits based on the preferences of our targeted clientele will help develop new varieties. A major component of the programme is the facilitation of a reliable seed system, which ensures high and sustainable production of quality planting materials to enhance productivity of the crop. The promotion of these varieties through demonstrations and farmer forums is also undertaken to enhance adoption of the crop. Specifically, the sweet potato improvement program will develop varieties with the following attributes: high and stable yielding, disease and pest resistant (Sweet potato viral diseases and Cylas sp.); high nutritional and processing attributes (less sweet, high dry matter, high β-carotene, high starch and flour yield and consumer acceptable and preferred. To facilitate enhanced technology transfer and adoption, clean and healthy planting materials breeder seeds will be produced for targeted clientele.
KEY ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Variety development through hybridization and adaptive evaluation – Dr Ernest Baafi/ Kwadwo Adofo
- Production and distribution of clean and healthy Planting materials - Dr Ernest Baafi/ Kwadwo Adofo
- Promotion of Released Sweetpotato Varieties - Dr Ernest Baafi/ Kwadwo Adofo
- Effects of compost beds from grain legume residues on Sweet Potato yields – Mr P. Osei Bonsu
- Development of Adaptable Integrated Weed Management Technologies for Sweet Potato Production – Mr Seth O. Ekyem
- Management of sweetpotato tuber weevil infestation – Mr Umar Sanda/ Dr Haruna Briamah
- Managing nematode pest infection in sweet potato production – Dr Kingsley Osei
- Sweet Potato Value chain – Mr Eyram Natson Amengor
- Addressing Postharvest Issues of Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) for Enhanced Domestic and Industrial Utilization – Mrs Evelyn Kwarteng
- Developing Virus-free Sweetpotato planting materials and maintenance of virus-free clones in the screenhouse – Dr Allen Oppong