Sweetpotato: Enhancing food and
feed in smallholder systems in Eastern Africa
Ben Lukuyu2, Carlos Leon Velarde1 and Sammy Agili1.
1International Potato Centre, Nairobi, Kenya, 2International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Sweetpotato offers great potential as an animal feed in sub-Saharan Africa but its potential use as a feed or dual purpose (food
and feed) crop has not been fully exploited. The International Potato Centre (CIP) and the International Livestock Research
Institute (ILRI) are researching ways that sweetpotato can play a more significant role in livestock production in East Africa,
examining the conditions under which it can play such a role, where it could make the most noteworthy contribution, and what
research and development activities need to be carried out to realize this potential.
Sweetpotato for food
Making silage of sweetpotato
and reject roots
Sweetpotato vines for feed
• Integrate enhanced sweetpotato
production with improved dairy cattle
and pig productivity to benefit
smallholders and, ultimately,
• East African Dairy Development project
(EADD), a consortium of partners lead
by Heifer International and including:
• World Agroforestry Centre
• African Breeding Services
• Farmers Choice Ltd, Kenya
• University of Nairobi, Kenya
• Egerton University, Kenya
• Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
• Rwanda Agricultural Board
• Identify forage or dual-purpose (for
both animal feed and human
consumption) sweetpotato varieties
• Investigate how to effectively integrate
sweetpotato varieties into existing
livestock systems to improve farmers’
profits and product quality.
The Gweri variety is the most promising for
forage production. Kemb 23, Kemb 36,
NASPOT- 1 and Wagabolige varieties are the
most promising dual purpose varieties in Kenya.
Varieties performed differently across different
agro ecological zones showing characteristics
for dual-purpose, forage, or root varieties.
Farmers in each zone will have various options
to choose from. However, they will need to
make tradeoffs between forage, dual-purpose,
and root varieties depending on their needs.
Those facing acute feed shortages will probably
opt for forage or dual-purpose varieties.
Optimum combinations of silage based on
sweetpotato vines, roots and locally available
feedstuff have been formulated for livestock
feeding and are being applied in the pig value
chain work in Uganda.
This research is a collaboration of the CGIAR
Research Programs on Roots, Tubers and
Banana, Livestock and Fish and Humidtropics
whose inputs are led by CIP, ILRI and IITA.
Acknowledgements and Disclaimer
This work was funded by the International Potato Centre (CIP) and implemented in Kenya and Rwanda by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the East Africa Dairy Development project (EADD) project; however, CIP, ILRI and
EADD can accept no responsibility for any views or conclusions presented here. These silage rations are being applied in the pig value chain work in Uganda.
This document is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non commercial – Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, December 2013