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Home HortScience New Sweetpotato Introduced by Participatory Breeding
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KAMPALA, UGANDA—A promising new sweetpotato cultivar has been introduced by collaborative team of scientists and farmers. Developed using an innovative breeding model, 'NASPOT 11' is projected to make a significant contribution to food security in the farming and food systems of Uganda.

A product of a participatory plant breeding (PPB) project, 'NASPOT 11' represents a new approach to sweetpotato breeding. The PPB approach relies on close collaboration between breeders, farmers, marketers, processors, and consumers. A report introducing the sweetpotato premiered in the American Society for Horticultural Science’s journal HortScience. The new cultivar was formally approved by the Ugandan Plant Variety Release Committee in April 2010.

"This is the fifth time the sweetpotato breeding program in Uganda has officially released sweetpotato cultivars," noted the project's team leader Robert Mwanga. "The program released 19 cultivars between 1995 and 1999, but to the best of our knowledge, 'NASPOT 11' is the first sweetpotato bred using a participatory plant breeding approach in Africa and perhaps the world."

The new sweetpotato features acceptable storage root shape (long elliptic) when grown in light soils, good to excellent consumer acceptance, and moderate sweetness. Storage root yields exceeded 10 t·ha–1 on-farm under good growing conditions compared with the average national storage root yield of 4.0 t·ha–1.

The cultivar showed moderate to high field resistance to sweetpotato virus disease and Alternaria bataticola blight. Both diseases can be devastating, causing high storage root yield losses (50% to 90%) in susceptible clones. "In terms of resistance to diseases, 'NASPOT 11' is superior to other previously released cultivars," Mwanga noted.

'NASPOT 11' is currently grown in the areas where PPB trials were conducted and where on-farm participatory trial evaluations were conducted with on-station trials. The spread of the cultivar is mainly achieved through farmer-to-farmer exchange or sale of planting materials. In the absence of special promotions by development agents, 'NASPOT 11' is expected to spread faster than non-orange sweetpotato cultivars.

The HortScience report includes directions for requesting the cultivar and planting material.


The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site:

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at


Original Article:

'NASPOT 11', a Sweetpotato Cultivar Bred by a Participatory Plant-breeding Approach in Uganda
Robert O.M. Mwanga, Charles Niringiye, Agnes Alajo, Benjamin Kigozi, Joweria Namukula, Isaac Mpembe, Silver Tumwegamire, Richard W. Gibson, and G. Craig Yencho
HortScience 46:317–321. [no Abstract available] [Full Text] [PDF]

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