Sweet Potatoes

Rwanda is the third largest consumer of sweet potatoes in Africa and 9 out 10 farm households in Rwanda cultivate sweet potatoes. Sweet potato growing is increasingly becoming important food security crop. The varieties of sweet potatoes grown in Rwanda include the following;

  • White sweet potatoes
  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

Districts that grow sweet potatoes

The districts that grow sweet potatoes include the following;

  • Rulindo District
  • Muhanga District
  • Kamonyi District
  • Bugesera District

Diseases that attack sweet potato in Rwanda

The diseases that attack sweet potatoes include the following;

  • Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV)
  • Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV)
  • Sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV)
  • Sweet potato chlorotic fleck virus (SPCFV)
  • Sweet potato caulimo-like virus (SPCaLV)
  • Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) using nitrocellulose membrane enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Uses of sweet potatoes

The uses include the following;

  • Sweet potato flour  can be  used as a substitute for imported wheat flour
  • Sweet potato generates cash income

Challenges

The growing of sweet potatoes has the following challenges;

  • The sweet roots are bulky and costly to transport long distances.
  • There are no adequate domestic markets for the sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet potato prices plummet during periods of abundance.
  • The farmers do not use modern methods of growing sweet potatoes.
  • Unavailability of farm inputs.
  • Poor storage facilities for the sweet potatoes.
  • High infestations of various sweet potato viruses.
  • The sweet potatoes are also attacked by vertebrate pests.

Areas that Grow Sweet Potatoes

The key sweet potatoes growing districts include the following;

  • Gakenke District
  • Bugesera District

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