Khumo - Orange-fleshed sweet potato variety
The Agricultural Research Council - Vegetable and Ornamental Plants (ARC-VOP), which has a solid reputation as a leader in sweet potato R&D, has developed a new variety Khumo orange-fleshed sweet potato. A 60 gram serving of boiled roots of variety Khumo supplies the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, unlike the cream-fleshed varieties which are devoid of vitamin A. Variety Khumo has a pleasant sweet and medium dry taste, the storage root has an elliptic to long obovate shape, pale orange skin and orange flesh, with an 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 the provision of disease-certified mother stock annually.
Sweet potato is an excellent source of energy, while containing substantial quantities of vitamin C and also contributes 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.