Damage reduces shelf-life of sweetpotato during marketing

  • K. Mtunda
  • D. Chilosa
  • E. Rwiza
  • M. Kilima
  • H. Kiozya
  • R. Munisi
  • R. Kapinga
  • D. Rees
Keywords: Ipomoea batatus, post-harvest losses, Tanzania


Although sweetpotato is primarily grown for home consumption, marketing is becoming increasingly important, and in this case, short shelf-life of the roots is a major constraint. An assessment of the levels of damage of sweetpotatoes when they arrive at urban markets indicated that between 49% and 93% roots exhibited some form of damage. The major types of damage noted were breakages, cuts, infestation by weevils (Cylas spp.), rotting and superficial scuffing. All forms of damage, except superficial scuffing, lead to a shortened shelf-life due to both increased fresh weight loss and rotting. Superficial scuffing increased the rate of rotting but not of weight loss. It was estimated, based on the six cases considered, that the damage resulted in a reduction of shelf-life of between 23% and 47%.

Key Words: Ipomoea batatus, post-harvest losses, Tanzania

(African Crop Science Journal 2001 9(1): 301-308)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730