The sweet potatoes which came from tropical America are grown mainly on small scale as stable food in most parts of Africa. The sweet potato is a starchy and sweet tasting tuberous root vegetable. Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet taste that makes them nice to eat.
Growing of potatoes
They can be grown either outdoors or indoor provided the soil texture, light and moisture are appropriate. The potatoes be planted directly in the soil or in plastic containers
The tubers take four to five months to mature and you have to consume them promptly to avoid them getting spoilt.
Inter cropping of sweet potatoes
When they have just been planted into the soil, they can be intercropped with beans and maize. The maize must however be spaced.
Benefits of potato
The sweet potato has a lot of benefits to human kind including the following;
Source of food
- Young leaves are eaten as greens
- Tubers are eaten as food
Sweet potatoes can be eaten boiled, mashed, roasted, fried, creamed, baked in their skins or a soup.
The root tubers, green stem and leaves can be used as animal feed.
Other benefits to our body
- Potato are rich in fiber,
- They contain vitamins A
- They are an excellent source of carbohydrates.
- They are rich in vitamin B6
- They provide a good source for vitamin C
- Potatoes are a source of vitamin D
- They contain iron.
- They provide a good source of magnesium
- Potatoes are a source of potassium
- They contain natural sugars
- They contain high carotenoids like beta carotene and others
- They are a stable food to a number of people
Preservation of potatoes
The potato tubers be preserved fresh using modern methods of cold rooms or dried into flour using sunshine or other drying mechanism.
Author: John Muhaise-Bikalemesa,
Director Big Drum Advisory Services,