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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Field Crops Research
Title Sweet Potato can Contribute to Both Nutritional and Food Security in Timor-Leste
Volume 146
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 38-43
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/W_Erskine/publication/257214418_Sweet_potato_can_contribute_to_​both_nutritional_and_food_security_in_Timor-Leste/links/553d9c840cf29b5ee4bcdc8c.pdf
Calorie malnutrition is chronic in Timor-Leste, where vitamin A deficiency is also common. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.)) is a staple in cropping in Timor-Leste, of particular importance in the diet as household cereal stocks dwindle. This study tested if promising on-station results of introduced sweet potato clones were validated on-farm under farmer management across a wide range of agro-ecologies over the 2006–2007 and 2007–2008 growing seasons using participatory varietal selection. Additionally, as the clones differed in tuberous root flesh colour we evaluated their -carotene content and, hence, potential contribution to the alleviation of Vitamin A deficiency. In the 2006–2007 growing season three introduced clones (later released as Hohrae 1, 2 and 3) significantly out-performed the local by 29–45%, while in the next season the yields of these clones were more than double that of the local. Whereas only 29% of farmers gave positive comments aboutthe local cultivar, 66–71% of farmers commented positively on the Hohrae clones. We assessed the -carotene content of five introduced clones, only light orange- fleshed tuberous roots had detectable levels of -carotene (802–1209 g 100 g-1). It was concluded that 221 g d-1 – slightly less than 1 cup d-1 – of Hohrae 3 with light orange fleshed roots will meet the requirement of an individual with Vitamin A deficiency in Timor-Leste. With an improved production potential combined with substantial -carotene, the clone Hohrae 3 has the potential to contribute to both calorie and Vitamin A deficits in Timor-Leste.

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