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Raised beds for sweet potato production and weed management

Raise tuber yields with raised beds

The raised bed technology provides sweet potatoes with an elevated platform for growth. Instead of planting them directly in the ground, raised beds are created by piling loose soil. This creates a designated area for the plants. This specialized bed prevents the soil from becoming too compact or saturated, which can harm the plants. Additionally, it hinders the growth of weeds, ensuring that the sweet potatoes receive the necessary nutrients. This method is particularly beneficial in areas where the soil quality may be suboptimal. It facilitates better growth for the sweet potatoes and simplifies maintenance for farmers. In straightforward terms, this technology offers sweet potatoes an elevated space to grow, ultimately leading to healthier and more robust crops.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 7/9; level of use 7/9

Cost: $$$ 584 USD

Installation of raised beds per acre

7 %

Fresh tuber weight increased


Open source / open access


  • Weed Overgrowth: Uncontrolled weeds compete with sweet potatoes, reducing yields and stunting growth.
  • Soil Compaction and Waterlogging: Traditional methods can lead to poor root development and tuber growth.
  • Soil-Borne Diseases: These diseases can devastate sweet potato crops, leading to lower yields and economic losses.
  • Low Tuber Yields: Insufficient tuber production leads to reduced income for farmers.
  • Labour-Intensive Weed Control: Manual weeding diverts resources from other crucial activities.
  • Inefficient Water Use: Poor drainage strains water resources and harms plant health.
  • Limited Land Utilization: Inefficient planting methods limit crop diversification and income potential.
  • Challenges in Low Rainfall Conditions: Drought stress leads to reduced yields and economic losses.


  • Optimized Growing Conditions: Elevates sweet potato plants, creating ideal conditions for tuber development. Prevents soil compaction and waterlogging, ensuring healthy growth.
  • Disease-Resistant Cultivation: Provides an environment hostile to soil-borne diseases, fostering healthier crops and minimizing disease-related losses.
  • Yield Enhancement and Crop Resilience: Maximizes tuber yields by maintaining optimal soil conditions, reducing dependency on external inputs and manual labour.
  • Resource-Efficient Farming: Reduces labour-intensive tasks, allowing efficient resource allocation. Optimizes water use and maximizes land productivity.
  • Adaptability to Varied Environments: Addresses challenges posed by low rainfall conditions. Retains moisture in raised beds, ensuring sweet potatoes thrive in less favourable conditions.

Key points to design your business plan

This technology is beneficial for users:

Utilizing raised beds for sweet potato production offers a sustainable farming approach, promoting increased crop yield, environmental resilience, and economic viability. To effectively implement this technology:

  • Evaluate your farm's suitability for raised bed cultivation based on factors like soil type and climate, and select appropriate sweet potato varieties accordingly.
  • Source hand hoe and harrow, or mechanical plow, Procuring mineral fertilizer, compost and chemical control agents (optional), and Supply of mulching litter or plastic sheets (optional) to ensure optimal growth and yield potential.
  • In terms of cost structure, notice that for potato growers in the United States the installation of raised beds with a mechanized plow, disinfection of soil, fertilizer input and irrigation is costing USD 584 per acre (= 0.4 hectare). Covering soil beds with plastic sheets is furthermore costing USD 150 per acre, whereas mulch from plant litter can be less or more expensive than plastic depending on the type and hauling distance.

For enhanced optimization, consider associating with technologies such as Orange-fleshed sweet potato (Bio-fortified, Drought and virus tolerant), Specialty blended fertilizers (high potassium).

Foster collaborations with agricultural development organizations, fertilizer suppliers, and agricultural service providers to access resources, technical support, and distribution networks for successful implementation and adoption of the technology.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive medium
Under 18
Positive medium
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts somewhat well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It doesn't hurt them
Carbon footprint
It reduces emissions a little
It makes a little difference
Soil quality
It makes the soil healthier and more fertile
Water usage
It uses a little less water

Raised beds for sweet potato production and weed management




Algeria,Angola,Benin,Botswana,Burkina Faso,Burundi,Cameroon,Cape Verde,Central African Republic,Chad,Comoros,Democratic Republic of the Congo,Djibouti,Egypt,Equatorial Guinea,Eritrea,Ethiopia,Gabon,Gambia,Ghana,Guinea,Guinea-Bissau,Côte d’Ivoire,Kenya,Lesotho,Liberia,Libya,Madagascar,Malawi,Mali,Mauritania,Mauritius,Morocco,Mozambique,Namibia,Niger,Nigeria,Republic of the Congo,Rwanda,Senegal,Sierra Leone,Somalia,South Africa,South Sudan,Sudan,Eswatini,Tanzania,Togo,Tunisia,Uganda,Western Sahara,Zambia,Zimbabwe

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Algeria Tested Adopted
Angola Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Botswana Tested Adopted
Burkina Faso Tested Adopted
Burundi Tested Not adopted
Cameroon Tested Not adopted
Cape Verde Tested Not adopted
Central African Republic Tested Not adopted
Chad Tested Not adopted
Comoros Tested Not adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Not adopted
Djibouti Tested Not adopted
Egypt Tested Not adopted
Eritrea Tested Not adopted
Eswatini Tested Adopted
Ethiopia Tested Not adopted
Gabon Tested Not adopted
Gambia Tested Not adopted
Ghana Tested Not adopted
Guinea Tested Not adopted
Guinea-Bissau Tested Not adopted
Kenya Tested Not adopted
Libya Tested Adopted
Madagascar Tested Adopted
Malawi Tested Not adopted
Mauritania Tested Adopted
Mauritius Tested Not adopted
Morocco Tested Not adopted
Republic of the Congo Tested Not adopted
Rwanda Tested Not adopted
Senegal Tested Not adopted
Sierra Leone Tested Not adopted
Somalia Tested Not adopted
South Africa Tested Not adopted
South Sudan Tested Not adopted
Togo Tested Not adopted
Tunisia Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Not adopted
Western Sahara Tested Not adopted
Zambia Tested Not adopted
Zimbabwe Tested Not adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 13: climate action
Goal 13: climate action

  1. Preparation of the Field:

    • Till and harrow the field to ensure it is free of weeds and not compacted.
  2. Layout of Raised Beds:

    • Create parallel raised beds, spaced approximately 90 centimeters (3 feet) apart.
  3. Building the Raised Beds:

    • Heap up loose soil into ridges, creating beds that are about 30 centimeters (1 foot) high.
    • Flatten the tops of the beds, providing a stable surface for planting.
  4. Planting Sweet Potatoes:

    • Place rooted cuttings and vines at the desired spacing on the flattened tops of the raised beds.
  5. Maintenance and Care:

    • Monitor the plants for signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate action if needed.
    • Water as necessary to maintain proper soil moisture levels.
  6. Mulching (Optional):

    • Consider covering the raised beds with mulch (crop litter) or plastic sheets. This further helps in moisture retention and weed control.
  7. Harvesting:

    • Harvest sweet potatoes once they have reached maturity, typically indicated by the vines starting to yellow and wither.

Last updated on 22 May 2024