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Welcome to the World Sweetpotato Atlas, an ongoing project sponsored by the International Potato Center (Centro Internacional de la Papa, or CIP).  Similar to the World Potato Atlas initiated in the 1980s, the sweetpotato atlas is intended to provide a forum for information exchange about sweetpotato cultivation and use around the developing world, presented in a wider context of international agricultural development.

In addition to global themes, chapters of several countries are organized by:

  • History and Overview;
  • Geography and Production Zones;
  • Production Systems and Constraints;
  • Varieties and Seed Systems;
  • Consumption, Storage, and Marketing;
  • Research Facilities and Contacts.

Although the atlas is intended primarily for people with a general interest in agricultural development, links to other websites address topics of more specialized research. (Some are included as relevant in country chapters. Others are listed under "Sweetpotato Info Links.")  We have attempted to provide the most authoritative and complete information available for each country, but much of this information is available only as "gray literature."  Unfortunately, this is most often the case for countries facing the greatest poverty, hence of greatest interest to CIP.

Only a few countries are initially included as separate chapters here, clearly not all where sweetpotato is an important crop.  Instead, we have tried to provide more intensive treatment of a representative sample, with primary attention to those where sweetpotato production can help meet the food security and economic development needs of the world's poorest people. Areas of highest priority have been identified by a consideration of both the importance of sweetpotato and a composite of several indicators of poverty, as described in  Implementing CIP's Vision: Impact Targeting.

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     Countries included as chapters in the World Sweetpotato Atlas

       (To view this map, click on the thumbnail and expand the image as desired.)

In some areas of the world, sweetpotato is a critically important staple food, while in others the crop is being developed for a wide variety of products, from animal feed to industrial starch.  Central and southern Africa has become a particularly important regional focus, as sweetpotato is currently being developed as a means to address a serious nutritional challenge, Vitamin A deficiency.  That effort is the focus of Vitamin A for Africa -- VITAA

The potential benefit of this project depends on its active use as a means of information exchange.  Further contributions and dialogue are very welcome (Contact us), and any contributors will be acknowledged.  We hope that this project will continue to grow with the ongoing participation of clients like you.