A survey was conducted in four yam growing communities in southern Ghana, with the objectives of analyzing the diversity of yam species being cultivated, extent of production, yams preferred and identification of challenges confronting yam production. A total of 264 farmers were involved in the survey, 200 men and 64 women. Six yam species were encountered and 136 varieties were characterized according to the number of households cultivating the varieties, area under cultivation, frequency of harvesting and the preferred yams. Invariably in the four communities, most of the varieties were cultivated in small areas by few households, depicting serious genetic erosion of yams in the communities. Preference of yams cultivated depended mostly on the maturity period, ability to withstand biotic and abiotic stresses and multiple utilization as food sources. Eleven constraints were enumerated which needs to be addressed to ensure sustainable yam production. The inter-relations of the species with respect to the characteristics surveyed are presented.
Key words: Yam diversity, genetic erosion, productivity, Ghana.
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0