Farmers can propagate sweet potatoes using stem segments called vines. These are taken from the top of the old stems and caution should be taken to avoid spotted, mottled, wrinkled or vines with mosaic patterns.
Plants with mosaic patterns could most likely be having a viral disease. Farmers can practise rapid multiplication practices to multiply vines.
Here you use two node cuttings, make a bed spacing 2cm apart, apply aerial fertiliser and in two months the planting material will be ready for planting.
Farmers can also use the conventional method by cutting vines and planting them in a nursery. Once they have grown 30cm, it is ready for planting.
Sweet potatoes should be kept weed-free in the first months and this is done by weeding around the ridges/mounds.
Weeding is normally done by hand. After about two months, the canopy of the crop is normally big enough, covering the ground and this helps to keep away weeds.
It is important to cover cracks arising from growth of the tubers with soil, otherwise if left open will attract weevils that will infect the tuber.
To harvest, you can use a hoe or digging fork to gently remove the soil from the ridges or mounds when digging up your ridges and mounds during harvest, start at the top following the stem and roots of the vine.
You will find the sweet potato tuber along the roots just under the vine stems.