Sweet potato for food and industry
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CTA. 1988. Sweet potato for food and industry. Spore 14. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44826
Sweet potato cultivation provides both employment and food for Nigeria and many other countries where the crop is grown. It is the sixth most important food crop in the world and has several advantages over other staples. It has, for instance, a...
Sweet potato cultivation provides both employment and food for Nigeria and many other countries where the crop is grown. It is the sixth most important food crop in the world and has several advantages over other staples. It has, for instance, a tremendous capacity for producino drv matter per unit area of land in a short time and it requires fewer production inputs than yam, cassava or other staple crops. It is also less vulnerable to drought and heavy storms. S C O Narinyi of Nigeria's National Root Crops Research Institute highlights sweetness, strong taste and aroma, and the colour of the cooked product, as the most important areas requiring attention if the acceptability of sweet potatoes is to be enhanced. Deep orange and violet (or purple) flesh colours are disliked and white or yellow fleshed cultivars are generally preferred. Also, while other staple crops such as rice, cassava, potato, yam and cocoyam have little taste and need flavouring to increase palatability, many consumers object to the taste and smell of sweet potato. Nevertheless, others consume sweet potato because of its sweetness and flavour so there is opportunity for selection to modify these characteristics to suit a greater proportion of the population. Industrial processing is another option for modifying appearance and taste: tubers are now peeled, sliced, dried and milled into flour, which can be used in various food preparations. With maize and soya bean flours, good infant foods have been produced and sweet potato flour blends well with wheat flour for making bread, biscuits and cakes. High yielding cultivars from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria are in demand From farmers and further cultivars are on trial. With yields of 25-40 t per hectare, a growing period of three to four months, wide ecological adaptation, easy preparation and low input requirements, the sweet potato obviously has considerably unexploited potential as a major crop. For more details, contact: S C O Narinyi National Root Crops Research I nstitute Umudike PMB 7006 Umuahia NIGERIA