Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) as a drought tolerant and food security crop

  • Nozipho M. Motsa School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Albert T. Modi School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Keywords: physiology, water stress, phytochemicals, nutrition, utilisation

Abstract

Sweet potato is an important ‘indigenised’ root crop in South Africa. It features prominently in smallholder cropping systems because of its versatility, drought tolerance and positive role in food security. It outranks most staple crops in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and protein content. Much information is available on sweet potato as a drought tolerant and food security crop, but critical reviews that link its drought tolerance with food security are lacking. We review sweet potato as a food security crop, focusing on mechanisms associated with drought. We conclude that the crop has great potential in the light of imminent challenges associated with drought as a negative effect of climate change.

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Published
2015-11-26