Authors : T.N. Niyireba, C. Ebong, S. Agili, J. Low, B. Lukuyu, J. Kirui, J. Ndirigwe, G. Uwimana, L. Kakundiye, M. Mutimura, D. Gahakwa and C.K. Gachuiri
Abstract: Sweet potato is an ideal crop for densely populated areas because it enables farmers to produce food and fodder concurrently on the same piece of land. But, the use of the technology in sub-Saharan Africa is sporadic because dual purpose sweet potato varieties and knowledge of vine harvesting without compromising root yields are rare. This study evaluated 11 sweet potato genotypes for dual-purpose attributes and the effects of ratooning on biomass yield in three ecozones in Eastern Province of Rwanda. The experiment was a randomized split-split-plot design with the ecozones. Varieties and ratooning treatments as main, sub and sub-sub-plots, respectively. General linear model analysis with replicates nested on ecozones, revealed that root (p = 0.0021) and vine yields (p = 0.0381) differed across ecozones but not in root-to-vine ratios (p = 0.0509). Varieties differed significantly in root (p = 0.004) and vine (p = 0.017) yields but not root-to-vine ratios (p = 0.0958). Ratooning increased vine yields by approximately 64% without reducing root yield. Local landraces had higher yields of roots and vines than introduced genotypes. No varieties had strong dual-purpose attributes. Ratooning induced the dual-purpose attributes in all varieties. Ratooning at 80 days after planting was recommended a practice for sweet potato production as a dual purpose crop in Rwanda.
T.N. Niyireba, C. Ebong, S. Agili, J. Low, B. Lukuyu, J. Kirui, J. Ndirigwe, G. Uwimana, L. Kakundiye, M. Mutimura, D. Gahakwa and C.K. Gachuiri, 2013. Evaluation of Dual Purpose Sweet Potato [Ipomea batatas (L.) Lam] Cultivars for Root and Fodder Production in Eastern Province, Rwanda. Agricultural Journal, 8: 242-247.