Cassava and sweet potato yield assessment in Malawi
Farmers grow mostly local varieties of cassava with own gardens as the main source of planting materials. Several varieties of sweet potato are grown with Kenya (bred in Tanzania) as the most popular. Sprouts from previous season’s gardens are the main source of planting materials.
The study finds that cassava and sweet potato are grown for food and cash, however in some areas cassava stems are used for fuel wood. Most farmers do not store fresh cassava roots but process them into makaka, kanyakaska and kadonoska or sell them fresh. Processing for sweet potato is limited to boiling and roasting. Most farmers store sweet potato but this is constrained by the sweet potato weevil damage and rotting. Unavailability of acceptable improved varieties, high incidence of pests and diseases, and poor cultural practices are the main causes of low yields in the targeted areas.