S. O. ODEBODE1, N. EGEONU2 and M. O. AKORODA3
1 Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
This paper seeks to promote sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam) through the diversification of its use in the Nigerian food industry. Sweetpotato was cultivated in few areas by farmers in Nigeria before the recent increase and spread in the last decade, and its use is limited to boiling, roasting and frying. The processing of sweetpotato, as highlighted in this paper, has the potential of making a significant impact on the economy. This is because processing offers the possibility of better storage, added value, lower transportation cost and new markets in the food, feed, and industrial sectors. It will facilitate the marketing of this crop, increase productivity and improve the standard of living by providing income for farmers. The use of sweetpotato in livestock feed will help to improve livestock nutrition and lead to cheaper meat production. Sweetpotato therefore, can play a major role as a food reserve for many rural and urban households, due to diversified usage. Recommendations include identifying and breeding the varieties that will be suitable for different end products so as to enhance its production. There is also the need to determine how the different varieties can be made available all year round by establishing multiplication sites. Industries or entrepreneurs who will be ready to buy must also be identified, for promotion of commercial production. Technical advice must also be provided so as to improve yields.