The sweet potato trial is a joint program with CIP and MAL with two trial design. These two trials were supposed to be implemented as early January 2010, but the time taken to identify the site/ area had delayed it to February, when it was started.
The methodology is a Split Plot Design with Kauloghu as variety and we have planted into Sub Plots such as B1 cutting from plants which produce 1000g/plant tubers, B2 cutting from plants which produce 650—850g/plant tubers and B3 cutting from plants which produce 500g/plant tubers. We have 3 replications. The trial at Henderson is a comparative of sources of planting materials (cuttings) to growth and yield of sweetpotato.
The newly introduced varieties from SPC (19) sweetpotato at Aretakiki are to identify the performance at local condition.
So far we have completed the 2 trials and continue our monitoring on both sites. The local varieties has progressed well even though a quarter had died because of dry weather when planted. Both trials will last for 4 months duration before they mature. The Henderson trial will be ready in May/June and the Areatakiki trial will be in July 2010.
To conclude, I’m pleased with the trial even though we had some challenges. We need to do more of these trials with farmers so that they understand the importance of planting more varieties of sweet potatoes using different methods, etc.