So, how do you plant kamote or sweet potatoes?
You go down the market, buy a bundle of fresh cut kamote tops complete with long stems. Consume the leaves either through a simple salad or part of the sinigang (sinabawan) na ‘Abo” or Tiger Tooth Croker. Naturally, the “hard” stems will be left behind.
Soak the lower end on a container of water and wait three to four days to develop roots. When sure that it will be sufficient enough to grow, transplant three slips per pot. Or, if you desire to populate the back and front yards with greens, much better.
On the ground, prepare “gibons” or mounds of soil, and bury three slips per mound, making sure the top portion show above ground.
The same is being done by local planters in our area on their farms.
Lately, some farmers would breed new crops by planting the reject kamote root crop harvest itself and let it grow per mound of soil.
The above procedure are not scientific and will not guarantee good, continuous productive harvest.
But in fairness, the sweet potatoes grown in the Philippines are the best in the world, in terms of ‘body,’ taste, texture and aroma. (Which reminds us that, bragging aside, mangoes grown in the Philippines are superior and incomparable in taste and sweet smell with those being sold in the US of A known as Manila mangoes grown from Mexico.)
But why sweet potatoes in the country do not have a marketing chance in the international market?
Is it because the farmers can not guarantee a predictable production volume? Or almost close to minimal if nothing at all, is being focused on the root crop by the government on its research, production and marketing?
In the Philippines, kamote is relegated, sad but true, as the poor man’s root crop food served on the table, and nothing else. A very erroneous supposition.
We have to take note here that in western countries, cultivation, production and marketing sweet potatoes is a huge farming endeavor. Kamote has become the alternative replacement of raw food material for french fries, already, aside from other products in the market with the main component of sweet potato.
In the United states, sweet potato is big business. It is a money maker.
Take a look how a huge industry revolves around the ‘lowly’ kamote on related videos below:
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