Sweet Potato, Ipomoea batatas is a tuber crop that is common in northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large. The edible tubers in contrast to the Irish potatoes are sweet to taste and come in different shapes and colors. The sweet potato tubers can be white, orange, or purple.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, B6, Potassium and Manganese. It is also an excellent source of Beta-Carotene.

Uses of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are majorly consumed in Nigeria as fried, in wedges, or as thinly sliced chips. Also, they can be eaten as boiled, alone, or in porridge or pounded into a swallow. Recently, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) fortified with Vitamin A has been developed to help combat malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency.

Growing Sweet Potatoes in Northern Nigeria

Season

Potatoes can be grown in any season.

Soil Type

Potatoes thrive well in loose, well-drained soil that does not log water.

Planting

Sweet potatoes can be grown using vines or snips. Vines are the cuttings of the stems while snips are potatoes that have sprouted. To sprout potatoes, leave them in a cool and obscure place for up to a week. Plant the vine cuttings, with at least 3 nodes, or snips in ridges with a spacing of 1m/1m.

Maintenance

Weeding the ridges at least once within the first month is necessary. Weed preferably with hand to avoid damage to forming tubers. Keep soil watered and aerated to enable root penetration for tuber development. Moderate watering during the later stages to avoid tuber rot. Dress ridges with manure for nutrients.

Harvesting

Tubers should be matured after 3-4 months. Ensure enough attention when harvesting potatoes to avoid breakage and blemishes. Keep in a cool and dry place to avoid spoilage and fungal growth.

States Sweet Potatoes are Predominantly Found in Northern Nigeria

Potatoes are grown in the states of Sokoto, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Benue, Niger and others.

Major Markets of Sweet Potatoes in Northern Nigeria

STATEMAJOR MARKETS
KADUNAKasuwan Dan Magaji, Kasuwan Sabon Gari, Kasuwan Samaru, Kasuwan Giwa.
KANOKasuwan Wanbai, Kasuwan Wudil, Kasuwan Danbatta, Kasuwan Yan kaba, Kasuwan Sabon gari.
NASARAWATsohon Kasuwa, Sabon Kasuwa
NIGERKasuwan Gwari, Sabon Kasuwan
KWARAMandate Market, New Kulende Market, Owode Market, Ipata Market, Ganmo Market, Alagbado Market, Omu-Aran Market, Yoruba Road Market Ilorin, Baboko Market, Kankatu Market.
PLATEAUKasuwan Building Material, Kasuwan Farin Gada.
YOBEKasuwan Tashar Kuka, Kasuwan Jaji Maje, Kasuwan Garin Alkali, Kasuwan Yusufari, Kasuwan Yunusari.
BENUEWadata Main Market, Otukpo Main Market, Gboko Markets, Mbatyav District  Market, Tarukpe Market, Ortese market, Akpagher market.
Major Markets of Sweet Potatoes in Northern Nigeria

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