Climate-smart potatoes and sweetpotatoes boost resilience in the tropics
Potatoes and sweetpotatoes have played important roles in nourishing burgeoning populations in Africa and Asia, and their attributes ensure their contribution to food and nutrition security as climate change challenges farmers’ ability to feed their families and compatriots.
Both potatoes and sweetpotatoes produce more calories per hectare than rice or wheat, and with less water. Early maturing varieties that are ready to harvest when grains are still green produce precious food in, what rural Africans call, the hunger months and enable Asian farmers to sustainably intensify food production in grain-based systems by adding an extra crop in what are otherwise fallow months. But their greatest attribute in the long run may well be resilience.