Screening of Sweet Potato Varieties by Subsistence Farmers in Basey, Samar, Philippines: A Case of Traditional Experimentation in Upland Agriculture


Author(s): R. de Pedro, Jr., C. Lightfoot, D. Apura, M. Acaba and J. Cabiling

Abstract

Seventeen varieties of sweet potato [Ipomea batatas (L.) Lam] were grown and evaluated by subsistence upland farmers of Basey, Samar, Philippines. The 14 local and three improved varieties were described by leaf shape and color as well as by the color of their storage root skin and flesh. The farmers’ screening criteria consisted of storage root size; taste and yield; harvest duration; maturity period; vine growth; and resistance to weevils.
The upland farmers prefer sweet potato varieties which are early maturing, high yielding, resistant to weevils, with sweet dry taste and rapid vine growth, and which allow prolonged sequential harvesting with good storage root yield on the creeping vines.

Keywords : Sweet potato. Traditional experimentation. Subsistence upland farmers. Evaluation criteria. Varietal description. Upland agriculture.

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