Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. LAM) varieties in Bayelsa State, Nigeria
This study was conducted using randomized complete block design with three replications each in two locations (Amassoma Wilberforce Island and Yenagoa, Bayelsa State) to evaluate the performance of improved sweet potato varieties (Ex-Igbariam, TIS 8164, 199004-2 and TIS 87/0087 including Kukunduku local) from March to June 2010. There were significant differences among varieties at both locations and across locations but locations and location x variety interaction were non-significant for sweet potato root yields. Ex-Igbariam and TIS 87/0087 had higher fresh root yields of 7.39 and 4.17 t ha-1, respectively, than others across locations. Regarding trailing characteristic (soil surface cover), too, varieties were significantly different at both locations and across locations but location and location x variety interaction were non-significant with Ex-Igbariam and TIS 87/0087 having best soil surface cover, and consequently, best weed suppressants. There was incidence of diseases but that of insects was low. For fresh root phenotypic characteristics, Ex-Igbariam and 199004-2 had yellow flesh, indicative of the presence of vitamin A precursor. Since Ex-Igbariam, TIS 87/0087 and a few others showed real promise in yield and carotene content, carrying out a multi-locational trial would, hopefully, enable selection of high - yielding varieties for commercial production to improve farmers’ yields and income in the different agro-ecological zones of Bayelsa State.
Key words: Ipomoea batatas L. Lam, improved variety, yield, Nigeria.