Worldwide sweet potato production and consumption is huge!
Sweet potatoes have a major global impact. All around the world people eat and use this superfood, its plant leaves and roots.
With a vast variety of uses, they are among the world's most important food crops. (Learn how sweet potatoes are being used to produce the bio-based fuel Ethanol.)
Consider the following:
* Every year more than 130,000,000 tons (that's 260,000,000,000 pounds) are produced around the world. Production numbers are estimated for developing countries where reporting from rural farms can be inconsistent.
* Ranks among the 5 most important food crops in over 50 developing countries (along with rice, wheat, maize, and cassava)
* Ranks among the world's 7 most important food crops(along with wheat, rice, maize, potato, barley, and cassava)
* Cultivated in over 100 developing countries
* Over 95% of the global crop is produced in developing countries
* Mostly produced in Asia (over 120,000,000 tons every year)
* China accounts for about 90% of worldwide sweet potato production
* Asia's crop is used primarily for both animal feed and human consumption
* Yearly, China uses over 60,000,000,000 pounds of plant leaves as feed for pig stocks
* Africa's crop (believed to be about 14,000,000,000 pounds yearly - estimated due to the number of small rural farms that do not report production) is used primarily for human consumption
* Latin America, the sweet potato's original home, produces about 4,000,000,000 pounds yearly
* North America produces about 1,200,000,000 pounds yearly
* Portugal, Europe's only country that grows sizeable quantities of sweet potato, produces about 45,000,000 pounds yearly
* Typically a small-farmer crop
* Often used to improve incomes and food security among the poorer segments of a rural population
* Farm households make processed foods (starch, noodles, candy, desserts, flour); this diversifies the use and increases the crop's value
* Sweet potato consumption varies within countries: by regions, by time of year and by income group
* Grows well in many farming conditions including poor soils
Production and consumption facts and figures stated above are from The International Potato Center (CIP)
Click here to learn more about the International Potato Center - (CIP)
Studies show the effectiveness of orange-fleshed sweet potato consumption.