Improving yields through local crop breeding

Orange-fleshed varieties of sweet potato are rich in vitamin A - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Orange-fleshed varieties of sweet potato are rich in vitamin A
© Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In Kenya’s Central Rift Valley, sweet potato farmers have struggled to produce healthy, high yielding crops, with much of their harvest lost to plant viruses or damaged by weevils. In response, sweet potato breeders from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute have worked with farmers in the area to select and develop better varieties of sweet potato, which are tolerant of viruses, high yielding and contain high levels of nutrients and vitamin A. Breeder Laura Karanja explains the process, and how through planting the new varieties and attention to farming practices such as weed control, farmers can expect to double their yields. She also points out the importance of breeding crops specific to local areas, in order to match local conditions such as rainfall patterns, soil moisture and altitude.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Interview by:
Country:
Kenya
Duration:
6'07"
Date published:
February 2013
 
 
 

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