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Performance of informal market sweet potato cultivars in on-farm trials in South Africa

Sunette Laurie
  • Corresponding author
  • Agricultural Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP), Pretoria, South Africa
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/ Frikkie Calitz / Musa Mtileni
  • Agricultural Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP), Pretoria, South Africa
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Whelma Mphela
  • Agricultural Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP), Pretoria, South Africa
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sidwell Tjale
  • Agricultural Research Council-Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP), Pretoria, South Africa
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Published Online: 2017-09-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0047


Several new sweet potato cultivars have been released in South Africa from 2004 until 2011 with varietal traits suitable for the informal market. This paper reports on results of on-farm trials conducted to evaluate the cultivars in broader agro-ecologies in the country. The trials were conducted at 15 localities across the 2011/12 to 2014/15 planting seasons including six cultivars with varying flesh colours. Data collection included marketable and unmarketable storage root yield classes, dry mass, and taste acceptability. The sites were representative of cool subtropical and warm temperate regions. Statistical analysis included ANOVA, AMMI, Discriminant analysis (DA) and Principal component analysis (PCA). Significant effects were detected for locality*cultivar and region*cultivar interactions for total and marketable yield, and for cultivar only for marketable yield. The factor region was not significant. The mean marketable yield ranged from 13.1 to 19.0 t/ha, being highest for 199062.1 and Ndou, while Bophelo had average stable yield over a broad range of environments. The most prevalent unmarketable class was weevil damage (15.1%). The study demonstrated PCA and DA as quick analytical tools to associate quality traits with cultivars to facilitate cultivar recommendations. Bophelo and Ndou had been sold with success on local informal markets and have large potential to be promoted wider.

Keywords: AMMI; discriminant analysis; sweetpotato; yield


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About the article

Received: 2016-12-10

Accepted: 2017-06-05

Published Online: 2017-09-06

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 431–441, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2017-0047.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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