Sweet potato is both a staple and a vegetable crop, containing a significant amount of proteins, provitamin A, B, and C and minerals such as Ca, Fe and Na. Both tuber and shoot can serve for human consumption, livestock feed and for the prevention of skin cancer, indicating the importance of this crop. The tuber is also used for the industrial production of starch, sugar and alcohol. Good quality sweet potatoes should be smooth and firm, with uniform shape and size, be free from mechanical damage, and have a uniform peel color typical of the variety. There are four U.S. Grades for sweet potato (U.S. Extra No. 1, U.S. No.1, U.S. commercial and U.S. No. 2), and grades are based on degree of freedom from defects (dirt, roots, cuts, bruises, growth cracks, decay, insects, and diseases), but also size and weight categories. Biofortification is technically feasible and breeding for micronutrient concentrations that can have biological impact, without compromising agronomic traits, has been demonstrated. There are three methods of breeding 1st Collecting, evaluating, and selecting from the local germplasm. 2nd Importing cultivars that have been bred in other parts of the world and evaluating them under your conditions.3rd breeding cultivars in your own Programme.
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