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Participatory Evaluation and Demonstration of Selected Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) Varieties in the West Omo Zone, Southwest Ethiopia

Tamirat Tadewos, Wondimu Yonas


In Ethiopia, sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is the second most important root crop after enset, and it is a good source of potassium, vitamins, carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and other essential nutrients. To meet the increasing demand for sweet potatoes, different white and orange-flesh sweet potato varieties have been introduced and evaluated in the southwest region of the country by crop researchers
at the Bonga Agricultural Research Center. Accordingly, based on their performance from both white and orange flesh sweet potato varieties, Hawassa-83 and Kabode varieties were selected and recommended for production in the southwest region. Hence, this study was conducted at Dilkuba Taya and Shokach Kebele in Menit Goldiya District, west Omo Zone, southwest Ethiopia, in the 2022 cropping season. The study was carried out with the intention of demonstrating and transferring sweet
potato production technology to the studied areas. Twenty farmers were chosen from the two Kebeles, ten from each Kebele, depending on their enthusiasm for taking part in the demonstration activity. Two varieties of sweet potato, Hawassa-83 and Kabode varieties, with the local variety as a check, were used in this study. All of the participating farms expressed interest in the project and were allotted 100m2. The vein was planted based on its recommended package, and all necessary yield data and test preference data were collected. A field day was conducted at the farmer training center (FTC) and selected farmer sites with the participation of farmers, invited guests, agricultural experts, and researchers. The training was given to all selected farmers through the farmer research group (FRG) approach, in which they have practically seen and evaluated two varieties by applying a full production package of sweet potatoes. For the Hawassa-83, Kabode, and local varieties, the demonstration and on-farm evaluation results of this study showed that the yield achieved from improved varieties was 34 tonnes per hectare, 30.18 tonnes per
hectare, and 25 tonnes per hectare, respectively. Based on the study results, both improved varieties (Hawassa-83 and Kabode) have a greater yield advantage than the local variety. As a consequence, Hawassa-83 and Kabode cultivars were suggested for increased production and popularisation in the study area based on test preference, medicinal value, and yield results.


Demonstration, evaluation, improved varieties, sweet potato

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