Sweetpotato Industry Profile
Sweetpotato, locally known as “camote” and scientifically named Ipomoea batatas L., is popularly known as the poor man’s crop in the Philippines. It is a nutritious food primarily consumed as a staple and vegetables. From a mere supplemental source of income to small farmers, sweetpotato has become a vital livelihood crop due to new and high market demand for sweetpotato products such as flour, confections, wine, and feedstuff. Based on the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as of 2019, Eastern Visayas remained the top sweetpotato producer with 98.95 thousand metric tons, sharing 18.8 percent of the total output in 2019. Bicol Region followed this with 16.0 percent share; Central Luzon, 9.9 percent; Western Visayas, 8.6 percent; and Caraga, 7.6 percent. The crop is commonly consumed boiled, fried, or roasted and is also used traditionally to create snacks and ingredients for various dishes. It can also be processed into different food products such as chips, noodles, and alcohol. Some products not for human consumption derived from the sweetpotato include animal feed and its use as a thickening agent.
Problems in the Industry
The following key constraints should be addressed to meet growing demands for the sweetpotato: 1. Lack of access to appropriate high-yielding varieties; 2. Inadequate supply of high-quality planting materials; 3. High pest and disease pressures; 4. Poor soil quality; and 5. Weak links to technology sources, markets, and commercial users. One challenge for the sweetpotato industry is the lack of suitable planting materials with high yield and high starch content. In addition, lack of information and technical proficiency in farming, compounded by the limited financial capability of farmers to purchase the necessary inputs, also limits crop yield and quality. Transportation costs for the fresh roots are also high, and there are a limited number of proper storage facilities. These factors jointly hinder further growth and production for smallholders.
ISP for Sweetpotato
The ISP for sweetpotato aims to further boost the sweetpotato industry by developing continuous technological innovations mainly through value chain development and improved support systems concentrating on less-favored environments by the National Sweetpotato R&D.
Strategic R&D is DOST-PCAARRD’s banner program comprising all R&D activities that are intended to
generate outputs geared towards maximum economic and social benefits
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Technology Transfer Initiatives
Technology transfer initiatives ensure that the outputs of R&D and innovations are transformed
into viable and applicable technologies that help intended users
The project focuses on both the production and processing of sweetpotato. For the production, more advanced technological interventions will be introduced in the locale by innovating the traditional method of...Read More
The business launching and product exhibit of the S&T-based Sweetpotato Value Chain Development for Food in Tarlac, Albay, Leyte, and Samar Program was conducted during the 1st Magayon Bicol Agri-Expo...Read More
Capacity building efforts of DOST-PCAARRD seek to develop and enhance the R&D capabilities of researchers
and academic or research institutions through graduate assistantships & non-degree trainings
and development and/or upgrading of research facilities
Root crop Food Processing Center
Zero-waste processing system: Commercially acquired equipment
Zero-waste processing system: Developed equipment
Policy Research & Advocacy
Analysis of policy concerns and advocacy of science-informed policies ensures that the AANR policy environment is conducive for S&T development
Competitiveness of Philippine Sweetpotato Industry under the ASEAN Economic Community
Sweetpotato production in the Philippines was found to be competitive under the case of import substitution. This implies that it can compete with imported sweetpotato because producing these domestically is cheaper. However, to be competitive under the export trade scenario, the domestic cost must decrease by 17 percent. In computing the break-even yield, the results show that sweetpotato will still be competitive under the import substitution scenario even if yield (6.24 mt/ha) declines by 59 percent.
Andal, E. G., Lapiña, G. F., Manalo, N. Q., Dorado, R. A. Valientes, R. M., & Cruz, M. B. (2017). ASEAN Economic Community: Opportunities and Challenges for the Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry Sectors. Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines: Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development – (Project Report)