Sweetpotato

Ipomoea batatas

Sweetpotato is the world’s seventh most important food crop, with more than 133 million tonnes produced globally per year. It is mainly cultivated in the tropics, more specifically in the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and East and Southeast Asia. Its tuberous root is commonly used for human consumption, and its leaves and shoots for animal feed.

Sweetpotato was probably domesticated more than 5,000 years ago, in South America and/or Central America. The Portuguese introduced it to Africa.

A global strategy has been developed to secure the future availability of sweetpotato diversity.

Genesys currently displays information for about 8,900 sweetpotato accessions. About 54% of the accessions are landraces, and 11% are wild relatives. The International Potato Center (CIP) holds the largest collection, followed by the USDA-ARS genebanks. Learn more about the global inventory of sweetpotato here.