In line with the Institute’s mandate, the programme aims at the development of new sweetpotato varieties with desirable attributes and the development or improvement of agronomic packages that will enhance sweetpotato cultivars and largely contribute to the agricultural/food economy of the nation.
The programme has the national mandate of genetic improvement of sweetpotato productions, generation of improved production packages that will sustain high yields, formulation of disease and pest control strategies, and development of post-harvest technologies and extension of findings to end-users through established channels. The research thrust is to fulfill the mandate.
CURRENT RESEARCH STATUS
The production, marketing and utilization of sweetpotato have expanded in the last decade to almost all ecological zones of Nigeria, presently between 381,000 and 510,000ha of land area under sweetpotato cultivation in Nigeria (FAO 2008). Yields have increased from farmers’ pre-research era of 2-3 tones/ha to 30-40 tones due to the availability of improve varieties.
Nigeria today is the 1st largest producer of sweetpotato in Africa with 3.46mt annually. Globally, Nigeria is now the 2nd largest producer, China topping the list with 106, 197, 100MT. (FAO 2008).
HIGHLIGHTS OF RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS
- Eleven (11) hybrids lines with moderate root yield, but high in dry matter and starch content have been developed and selected for PYT and for further studies (AYT).
- Five hybrids lines have been nominated for NCRP prior to release.
- Development of weed control packages in sweetpotato production and to increase yield. Such as keeping the field weed free within the 1st 6 weeks and applied N-fertilizer at 60kg/ha.
- Application of “primextra Gold” at 1.5kgai/ha and fluazifopbutyl at2.0kgai/ha is more economical than manual weeding.
- Combination of sweetpotato morpho-types with time of herbicide application at 14 DAP, controlled weeds effectively and gave the farmer the highest yield with a return of N128, 033.40.
- Sweetpotato production has been established as a profitable enterprise. For entrepreneurship, any N1.00 invested in sweetpotato production, gives a profit of N0.83 kobo. In other words, an in-put of N149,355.20 is required to 1ha of sweetpotato with a monetary return of N274,054. This gives a financial benefit of N124,698. 80/ha.
- Development of improved agronomic packages for higher yield increased, through prunning from indigenous agro-forestry tree G.sepium and C.microphylla use for soil ammendment to increase the yield of sweetpotato.
- Confirmation of the effectiveness of mucuna grown as fallow in weed.
- Incorporation of organic manure during field preparation is a better option than surface application.
- Confirmation of total carotenoid content of carotene-based sweetpotato increased with maturity.
- Processing of sweetpotato roots into flour enhanced the shelf-life of sweetpotato roots.
COLLABORATING INSTITUTION: CIP-PERU/UGANDA
1. GENETIC IMPROVEMENT STUDIES
- Preliminary yield trial of sweetpotato varieties
- Varietal development through genetic recombination
- Assessment of the performance of orange fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties in the lowland forest agro-ecology of south-eastern Nigeria
- Multilocational evaluation of introduced and improved breeder lines of sweetpotato.
- Morphological characterization and yield evaluation of in-country sweetpotato accessions from Benue and Ebonyi states
2. AGRONOMY AND SOIL FERTILITY STUDIES
- determination of the nutrient requirement of sweetpotato land races under improved management in the northern Guinea Savanna
- evaluation of nutrient requirement of sweetpotato land races under improved management in the northern savanna
- Adaptation trial of orange-fleshed cultivars of sweetpotato in southern and northern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria
3. PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT STUDIES
- Varietal response of orange fleshed sweetpotato lines to infestation and damage by sweetpotato weevil Cylas punticolis
- Effect of selected herbicides on spear grass (imperata cylindrica) in sweetpotato field in derived savanna region of Nigeria
- Effect of integrating manual and chemical weed control in sweetpotato production in south-eastern Nigeria
- Effect of Cylas spp on field performance of carotene-rich sweetpotato cultivars
- Greenhouse screening of sweetpotato germplasm at Umudike for resistance to root-knot nematodes (meloidogyne spp)
- field evaluation of Diazinon and neem seed oil as pre and post planting insecticides eand harvest time for the control of Cylas punticollis (Bohr) in sweetpotato production
4. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND EXTENSION STUDIES
- examining determinants of sweetpotato production, marketing and utilization in middle belt-zone
1. Echendu, T.N.C. (PhD) Assistant Director/Entomologist firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Okorocha, E.A.O. (MSc) CRO/Nematologist email@example.com
3. Onunka, N.A. (Ph.D) PRO/Agronomist firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Njoku, J.C. (Ph.D) PRO/Agronomist email@example.com
5. Afuape, Solomon. O. RO1/Breeder/Genetist firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Korieocha, Davidson S. (MSc) RO1/Weed Scientist email@example.com
6. Ehisianya, Collins, .N. (MSc.) RO1/Entomologist firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Nwankwo, I.I.M (MSc) RO1/Breeder/Genetist email@example.com.
8. Amajor, John .U. (BSc) PupilRO/Micro biologist firstname.lastname@example.org 9. Nwaigwe, Grace .O. (BEd) PupilRO/Agric Extensionist email@example.com
Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike
KM 8, Umuahia - Ikot Ekpene Road, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.
The Coordinator, Sweet Potato Programme
Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike