Sweetpotato

Overview

Crop Sweetpotato Ipomoea Center of origin: CAM, SAM-Tro

Sweetpotato is the potato of the tropics. It is a tough crop, able to grow in arid conditions and with little demand for either water or fertilizer. Sweetpotato ranks as the world’s seventh most important food crop, principally because of its versatility and adaptability.

The sweetpotato is high in carbohydrates and vitamin A and can produce more edible energy per hectare per day than wheat, rice or cassava. The yellow-orange fleshed varieties provide particularly high quantities of Vitamins A and C. The leaves can also be eaten, providing additional protein, vitamins and minerals.

Over 95% of the global sweetpotato crop is produced in developing countries, where it is the fifth most important food crop in terms of fresh weight. More than 130 million tons are produced per year, with China supplying about 80% of the world’s production. Nearly half of the sweetpotatoes produced in Asia are used for animal feed, with the remainder primarily used for human consumption. African farmers produce only about 7 million tons of sweetpotatoes annually but most of the crop is cultivated for human consumption. Latin America, the original home of the sweetpotato, produces 1.9 million tons annually.

In response to widespread Vitamin A deficiency that results in blindness and even death for 250,000-500,000 African children a year, project by the International Potato Center (CIP), conducted in Eastern and Southern Africa over the past ten years, has identified a palatable yellow-orange variety palatable to Africans which is high in Vitamin A, to substitute the traditionally grown white fleshed varieties which are low in vitamin A.

Conserving forever in genebanks

Filter by genebanks

CIP

Number of varieties available to the public
12.3% 792
Data available in genesys
37.6% 2,414
Safety duplicated
4.5% 290

CePaCT

Number of varieties available to the public
0% 0
Data available in genesys
0% 0

Breakdown of genebanks conserving Sweetpotato

  • CIP 6,414 / 100%

The Crop Trust has supported 15 projects for Sweetpotato

  1. Argentina: The Crop Trust provided support to the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) that worked with the Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP) in Peru to carry out in vitro and field screening of sweetpotato diversity for salinity tolerance with the aim of identify promising materials for salinity tolerance and make these available for use by breeding programs and farmers.
  2. Indonesia: The Crop Trust supported the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD) to regenerate and characterize 750 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 245 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Potato Centre (CIP).
  3. Belgium: With support from the Crop Trust the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven) worked with the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Colombia, the International Potato Center (CIP), Peru and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji to develop protocols for the cryopreservation of sweetpotato. The protocols will allow the routine, large-scale application of cryopreservation for long-term conservation of these crop collections.
  4. Lao People’s Democratic Republic: The Rice and Cash Crop Research Centre (R&CCR) received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 33 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  5. Malaysia: The Crop Trust supported the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to regenerate and characterize 48 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  6. Papua New Guinea: The Crop Trust supported the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) to test sweetpotato accessions both in the field and in the laboratory for resistance to leaf scab and tolerance to cold with the aim of identifying potential sources of genes and making them available to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for multiplication and distribution to breeders and other researchers in the Pacific and South East Asian countries.
  7. Papua New Guinea: The Crop Trust supported the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) to regenerate and characterize 440 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  8. Peru: The Crop Trust supported the International Potato Center (CIP) that worked with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium to develop a protocol for the cryopreservation of sweetpotato that will allow the routine, large-scale application of cryopreservation for long term conservation of any sweetpotato collection.
  9. Peru: The Crop Trust supported International Potato Center (CIP) in its work with The Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Argentina to carry out in vitro and field screening of sweetpotato for salinity tolerance with the aim of identifying promising material and making them available for use by breeding programs and farmers.
  10. Philippines: The Crop Trust supported the National Plant Genetic Resources Laboratory (NPGRL) at the University of the Philippines Los Banos to regenerate and characterize 897 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  11. Rwanda: The Crop Trust supported the Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR) to regenerate and characterize 123 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops.
  12. South Africa: The Crop Trust supported the Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute and the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre to characterize and evaluate important collections of sweetpotato for drought and heat tolerance, blight resistance and beta carotene content. The aim was identifying potential sources of tolerant and resistance genes for these traits and make these materials available to breeders in South Africa and other SADC countries for use in the development of varieties adapted to climate change and with enhanced nutritional value. One sweetpotato variety with tolerance to blight has been distributed to various community projects in South Africa for production and another with high beta-carotene content is being promoted in crop-based program in South Africa to address vitamin A deficiency.
  13. Trinidad and Tobago: The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 69 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop.
  14. Uganda: The Crop Trust supported NaCCRI, NARO, Uganda to regenerate and characterize 1,194 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crop. 156 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Potato Center (CIP).
  15. Vanuatu: The Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Training Centre received support from the Crop Trust to regenerate and characterize 33 sweetpotato accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 13 accessions are safety duplicated in the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).