Uganda is the largest producer of sweetpotato in Africa. Sweetpotato is an important crop that fits well in the country’s farming and food systems. In cultivated area, sweetpotato ranks third after bananas and cassava. It stores well in the soil as a famine reserve crop, withstands extreme weather conditions, and performs well in marginal soils. Because sweetpotato is grown virtually in all areas of the country, it plays an important role in providing household food security. In some households, sweetpotato generates cash income in addition to being a food source.
A typical household owns a sweetpotato plot of less than one acre and cultivates more than five varieties, each identified by a name in the local language. Most varieties have different maturation periods, indicative of farmers’ desires for a yera-round supply of sweetpotato.
Despite the demonstrated importance of sweetpotato, its production still faces several biological, physical, and socioeconomic constraints. Of major importance are the absence of high-yielding and disease-resistant planting materials, poor agronomic practices, lack of markets, unavailability of farm inputs, the high cost of existing inputs, poor storage facilities, limited use opportunities, and infestations of insect and vertebrate pests. This was established after a sweetpotato baseline survey that was conducted in Uganda between 1989 and 1992