The NC State University operates an extensive sweet potato breeding and genetics program. In addition, the NCSU participates in the collaborative Eastern Potato Variety Development Projects.
North Carolina is the leading supplier of sweet potatoes in the United States producing ca. 240 thousand tons of sweet potatoes per year, or roughly 30% of the nationals supply, which is worth an estimated US$ 55.7 million.
Therefore a focus on sweet potatoes at the NCSU may not be a surprise. However, the breeding program is not limited to varieties for local use, but also focuses on resistances for varieties in tropical regions such as Uganda.