The government of Zimbabwe has distributed 450,000 virus free sweet potato vines in all the country's provinces under the Presidential Sweet Potato Vine program. Commenting on the distributed vines, ARDAS principal horticulture specialist Hilda Manditsvara said the plants were virus free and elite (high yielding) and had been distributed to all the country's provinces.
"From the distributed 50 vines, we are expecting them to have a multiplier effect within communities to act as nurseries from which other members in the farming communities can get their input. Coupled with good agricultural practices (GAP) we expect that these plants will have a great impact on sweet potato productivity," said Mrs Manditsvara.
The distributed vine package also contains some biofortified lines, which are rich in vitamins and iron and are very nutritious.
Zimbabwe requires about 318,080 tons of sweet potato annually. Sweet potatoes are generally an easy to farm crop requiring limited inputs, capital intensity and applicable on small tracts of land. Crop yields of up to 30 tons per hectare are possible.