Consumer participation in Ghana sweet-potato breeding program: The consumer preference approach
DeryKuuna Eric1,AsareBediakoKwabena1, Adofo Kwadwo3, Obeng-Bio Ebenezer2, Owusu-Mensah Eric2,4, Ibok Oduro4, Abidin Ernawati1 and Carey Edwin Edward2
1)International Potato Centre (CIP-Ghana), CSIR-SARI, Box 52, Nyankpala, Tamale, Ghana,
2) International Potato Centre (CIP-Ghana), CSIR-CRI, Box 3875, Fumesua, Kumasi, Ghana
3) Crop Research Institute, CSIR, Box 3875, Fumesua, Kumasi, Ghana
4) Kwame Nkrumah University of science and technology, Kumasi, Ghana
*Corresponding author: Email: ; ID=2132
Breeders in Ghana are faced with the challenge of getting consumers to adopt their varieties and even more so the orange fleshed sweet-potatoes (OFSP). This is as a result of the low dry matter nature of the OFSP and the idea that sweet-potatoes are generally too sweet.It is therefore important to ascertain whether new varieties meet consumers’ preference. Gender, age (6-17years for children and 18-60years for adults) and local taste preferences can influence the acceptance of a particular variety, hence are very important to consider during sweet-potato breeding. Using a pictorial rating (face “smiley” scale) scheme to aid young children and illiterate farmers and representation of men, women and children,consumer sensory analysis on sweet-potato advance trials at five different ecological locations (Komenda, Ohawu, Pokuase, Kpeve and Tono) were conducted at the time of harvest for the 2013 season. Nine elite genotypes (NKO3/A, BUN5, TIS9265/10, JITIHADA, 442162, 440390, 91/282-1/35, 199062-1/2, AP3A) at the advance stage (AYT-Advance yield trial) were tested against four released varieties (SANTOM PONA, OGYEFO, SAUTI, OTOO and BLUEBLUE) from the Ghana Crop Research Institute to serve as checks.Attributes evaluated were colour, taste, flavour, texture and overall acceptability. All the elite genotypes recorded higher consumer acceptability (≥3) in all the attributes across all locations with the exception of TIS9265/10 and AP3A. Significant differences were observed between adults and children preference while differences observed between women and men were not significant in most of the attributes apart from colour (p=0.0036). While men rated texture (average likeness=3.9513) above all attributes, women preferred appearance (average colour likeness= 4.0374) more. Children consistently ranked sweet-potato higher in all attributes than adults which is also an indication that, children are less selective than adults. Pokuase location recorded highest colour and flavour preference while Kpeve ranked taste and texture highest.It can be concluded that, consumers generally accepted the breeders’ varieties regardless of whether it was OFSP or its sweetness level. Though consumers mostly preferred the 2013 AYT genotypes, consumer preferences are not static and can change from one season to the next. It is therefore necessary to assess these changes every season in order to address consumer needs at all times.