Performance of sweet potato varieties across environments in Kenya
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Sweetpotato is an important food, feed and cash crop in Eastern Africa but its adoption as a dual purpose crop has not been exploited. Varieties giving high tuber and vine yields would be ideal for small scale farmers who are the predominant producers. The objective of the study was to evaluate and identify farmer-preferred adapted sweetpotato varieties which are high yielding in relation to food and feed. Sweetpotato varieties were evaluated in three sites at the coast between May 06 and February 07, one in Kilifi (KARI-Mtwapa) and two on farm sites in Lukore and Mwaluvanga locations, Kwale district. The experimental trials were laid out as randomised complete block design (RCBD). Ground cover was determined. Sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) incidence was monitored. The yield data was partitioned into marketable and non-marketable tubers, vine and tuber yield on weight basis. The yield of the disease tolerant varieties was stable in seasons and sites. Varieties with farmer and market desired traits such as high tuber yield and vine mass were identified. Dissemination of disease tolerant sweetpotato varieties coupled with building farmers capacity to maintain clean vines can sustain sweetpotato productivity.