South Korea:

Homegrown 'virus-free' sweet potatoes for higher yields & quality

Sweet potatoes are widely enjoyed by many, either as part of a meal or a healthy snack. While there is an array of ways to cook and eat sweet potatoes, they are highly prone to viral infections, which can lead to a significant drop in yield and quality.

To minimize the impact of infections, a team of researchers in South Korea has developed several varieties of homegrown sweet potatoes that show high resistance to infection. While the infected ones are wrinkled, defected, and rougher on the surface, the new varieties are more vibrant in color and have smoother skins.

As opposed to how sweet potatoes are conventionally grown and harvested, these new ones grow in a greenhouse that is completely bacteria-free. Developers say the new types show up to thirty percent higher yields.

The Rural Development Administration says it plans to expand the distribution of the new varieties to local farms across the country in a bid to boost the quality and yields. "Because viruses can have a major impact on the production and quality of local farms, expanding the supplies of these bacteria-free varieties is essential in maximizing their profits."

The initiative is also expected to increase the market share of local sweet potatoes in the nation, which is currently just above thirty percent.


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