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The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. (LamK) seemed to have originated in Tropical America, but, the exact location is not known. This crop is now grown throughout the tropics for its edible tubers, which are an important food source in many countries. Guyana is one of the tropical countries in which sweet potato is cultivated. The Regions of highest production in Guyana, are Regions 3, 4, and 9, but it is also grown in Regions 2, 5 and 6.

Sweet potato is primarily used as food. Generally it is consumed directly- the main type of preparation being boiling, baking or frying. In processed form, the tubers can be prepared in many ways for human consumption (canned, frozen, dehydrated or made into flour or starch).

For industrial uses, the tuber is a source of starch, glucose, syrup, vinegar and alcohol. The tuber and plant tops are also a source of animal feed. The tuber is fed directly or in processed form and the leaves are fed to livestock as fresh fodder or in the form of silage.