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Sweetpotato: Enhancing food and feed in smallholder systems in Eastern Africa

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Poster by Ben Lukuyu, Carlos Leon Velarde and Sammy Agili for the ASARECA General Assembly and Scientific Conference, Bujumbura, Burundi, 9-13 December 2013 …

Poster by Ben Lukuyu, Carlos Leon Velarde and Sammy Agili for the ASARECA General Assembly and Scientific Conference, Bujumbura, Burundi, 9-13 December 2013


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  • 1. 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 Objectives • Integrate enhanced sweetpotato production with improved dairy cattle and pig productivity to benefit smallholders and, ultimately, consumers. Key findings Partners 1. • East African Dairy Development project (EADD), a consortium of partners lead by Heifer International and including: • ILRI • World Agroforestry Centre • Technoserve • African Breeding Services • Farmers Choice Ltd, Kenya • University of Nairobi, Kenya • Egerton University, Kenya • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute • Rwanda Agricultural Board 2. • Identify forage or dual-purpose (for both animal feed and human consumption) sweetpotato varieties (vines only). • Investigate how to effectively integrate sweetpotato varieties into existing livestock systems to improve farmers’ profits and product quality. 3. 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. CGIAR linkages 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

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