Agricultural Research Council South Africa

Sweet potato is an excellent source of energy, while containing substantial quantities of vitamin C and also contribute B-vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iron to the human diet. It provides abundant quantities of provitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Most of the beta-carotene is retained during boiling and the efficacy of orange-fleshed sweet potato to improve the vitamin A status has been proven by the South African Medical Research Council. This crop has been used in large-scale provitamin A interventions in Mozambique and Uganda with great success.

The Agricultural Reserach Council - Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP) has a solid reputation as a leader in the sweet potato R&D. A new variety, Khumo - orange-fleshed sweet potato, has been developed by the ARC . A 60 gram serving of boiled roots of variety Khumo supplies the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A unlike the normal cream-fleshed varieties which are devoid of vitamin A. Variety Khumo has a pleasant sweet and medium dry taste, the storage root have elliptic to long obovate shape, pale orange skin and orange flesh with average dry matter content of 23.2%.  The variety is available from small-commercial scale sweet potato vine nurseries which are supported by the ARC through provision of disease certified mother stock annually.

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