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Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are already the 6th or 7th most produced food crop in the world, surpassed only by wheat, rice, corn, potato, barley, and possibly cassava. Among the reasons that sweet potato is a great crop is that it is relatively easy to grow, relatively free of pests and diseases, has relatively high productivity, and is always good food, principally starch, some protein and vitamin C, and, in orange varieties, rich in vitamin A. In addition, the young leaves, rich in protein and most vitamins, are also good food. Furthermore, the sweet potato is an excellent animal food.

Its ability to produce in poor soils makes the sweet potato an especially good crop for poor tropical soils where fertilizer is not available. If the leaves are also used as food, sweet potato will probably produce more nutrients per acre than almost any other crop under those conditions. (The other tropical crop that produces well on poor soils and also has both edible roots and leaves is cassava. It has an advantage over sweet potato in drought tolerance, but sweet potato has the advantage in nutrients. That is because substances called polyphenols in the cassava leaf combine with protein during cooking and reduce the amount of protein that is digestible.)

Nevertheless, like all crops the sweet potato must be produced with understanding in order to obtain maximum yields. It should never be treated with neglect.

--- TN #18



  1. 1988-01-19 Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are already the 6th or 7th most produced food crop in the world, surpassed onlyby wheat, rice, corn, potato, barley, and possibly cassava. Among the reasons that sweet potato is a great crop is that it is relatively easy to grow, relatively free of pests and...
  2. Key Resource 2015-02-16 Tropical root and tuber crops are consumed as staples in parts of the tropics and should be considered for their potential to produce impressive yields in small spaces. They provide valuable options for producing food under challenging growing conditions. Cassava and taro, for instance, are...
  3. Starchy Staple Edible portion :Tuber, Root, Leaves, Vegetable This is a root crop which produces long creeping vines. The leaves are carried singly along the vine. Leaves can vary considerably from divided like fingers on a hand to being entire and rounded or heart shaped. At the end of the vine,...
  4. Available on: iOS Android Sweetpotato DiagNotes is an interactive tool for extension workers, students, researchers and others who want to learn about the crop; about the pest, disease and other problems that can occur; how to diagnose crop symptoms and what management practices can be used to...
  5. 2000-03-20 A method to protect gardens from leaf cutter ants (Atta sp.) using sweet potatoes.
  6. 1997-11-19 If I intercrop sweet potato with taller plants, how much will that reduce the productivity of the sweet potato?
  7. 1998-05-19 Sweet potato produces tubers when it is STRESSED. That is why, in intercropping, it produces more leaves and fewer tubers.
  8. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are among the seven most produced food crops in the world, surpassed only by wheat, rice, corn, potato, barley, and cassava (Franklin Martin, ECHO Technical Note) Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) are rich in vitamin A, which is very commonly deficient in...
  9. 2009-01-20 Curing sweet potatoes right after harvest improves culinary quality and reduces postharvest losses caused by diseases and skinning. This practice, however, is seldom applied by growers in Mississippi suggesting suboptimal conditions and quality for marketing in addition to losses to postharvest...
  10. 1983-02-19 Dr. Frank Martin is a research specialist in sweet potato breeding. He writes, "A persistent nagging question is why people don't eat and don't want to eat more sweet potatoes. We believe this is due to sweetness itself, as well as flavors and textures that are not liked. We developed a new...
  11. Abstract, Wiley, 2016 Rice straw and sweet potato vines are the main by‐products of agricultural crops, and their disposal creates problems for the environment in the south of China. In order to establish an easy method for making rice straw silage successfully, experiments were conduct to...
  12. Abstract, Food Security, 2019 Postharvest loss reduction throughout commodity value chains is an important pathway to food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. However, lack of understanding of the location and share of the losses and associated factors along the postharvest value chains...
  13. 2019-11-26 Session: Potatoes and sweet potatoes play a big role as a staple and nutritious food, as well as a source of farmer incomes in the densely populated highlands of sub-Saharan Africa. They are grown by small family farms mainly intercropped with beans and maize. Per capita, potato annual...
  14. 2015-02-03

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