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Sweet Potatoes is part of a key staple and poverty – relief crop in Africa. Because many African children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, sweet potatoes address this problem.

Sweet Potato Planting    

Ridging –   Sweet Potato Plants are grown or ridges on mounds. Besides, the ridges are especially beneficial in areas prone to flooding and ease harvesting. Cuttings are laid 30cm apart on the ridge and with the basil end planted in the soil. Furthermore, holes of suitable size are made, the vines placed in the hole, and then pressed down firmly.Also, cuttings are planted vertically with 3 to 4 buds (nodes) under the soil surface.

Flat Bed – Some farmers grow sweet potatoes on flat beds in sandy soil and with good results.

Sweet Potato Planting Time  

  • Frost  free areas – from August to March.
  • Areas with heavy frost – mid November to the beginning of December.
  • Areas with light, mild frost – from the beginning of November to the mid December.
  • Cooler areas – September to February.
  • Winter rainfall areas. From mid November to the beginning of December.

Sweet Potato Harvesting        

Sweet Potatos are ready for harvesting 4 months (warm areas) to 5 months (moderate areas) after planting. Also, the soil shoul be soft during harvest to prevent breakage and skin damage. Besides, withold watering from about 30 days before harvesting. as a way of field curing. Also, in warm areas , cut vines 4 to 7 days before harvesting for the tubers to cure.

Furthermore, use a hand fork to lift the tubers and take them out by hand. Make sure not to damage them. If too long a season is allowed, the tubers will become too large.

Also, rub the soil from the sweet potatoes, wash and leave them to dry in the sun for 1 to 2 hours and when temperatures are moderately high.  At 32 degrees harvested tubers can get scald within 30 minutes. Besides, if left on the field at night at temperaturtes below 5 degrees chilling will occur. Store in a cool, dry place at about 15 degrees.

Sweet Potato Storage    

Sweet Potatoes can be stored fresh for 3 – 6 weeks after harvesting. Furthermore, they can also be left in the ground until they are needed. Also, it is better to extend harvesting through planting at fortnightly (two weekly) intervals during the planting season.

 

 

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I am a small business consultant with 28 years banking and 23 years business experience. This also include 15 years experience working with farmers.

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