Field production of yams (Dioscorea alata) from stem cuttings

P. Vander Zaag, R.L. Fox


A technique is described for growing yam from stem cuttings. The cuttings consisted of 2 cm of internode on each side of a node, together with the leaves, taken from stems of intermediate age from two-month-old plants of six cultivars grown from tubers in the field. The cuttings were dipped in 0.1 per cent indole-3-butyric acid powder and placed in trays containing equal quantities of vermiculite and perlite in a partially shaded mist chamber. After five weeks, those cuttings that had produced shoots and roots (16 to 88 per cent) were transferred to individual pots filled with a 1:1:2 mixture of vermiculite, perlite and soil; two weeks later they were transplanted in the field. The most vigorous cultivar produced tubers at the rate of 46 t/ha, three cvs at under 10 t/ha and two failed completely.

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