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Craig Yench with Bernard Yada at sweetpotato research farm

May 22, 2024

Dr. Craig Yencho receives 2024 O. Max Gardner Award

Dr. Craig Yencho, an NC State University professor whose research has influenced sweetpotato cultivation across the world, has been named the recipient of the 2024 Oliver Max Gardner Award.

Roots, Tubers and Bananas in Africa

Apr 25, 2024

The Hidden Giant: Roots, Tubers, and Bananas in Africa

Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) are the most important crops in Africa; they are versatile, resilient, cheap, and easy to grow with little need for irrigation and fertilizer.

Craig Yencho and Mercy Kitavi work with sweet potato samples in a lab in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dec 12, 2023

A Patented Winner

The National Academy of Inventors named NC State University’s Craig Yencho a 2023 fellow for his contributions to improved sweetpotato and potato breeding and genetics, with an impact reaching from North Carolina to Sub-Saharan Africa.

cutting sweetpotatoes

Dec 11, 2023

Sweetpotatoes’ Flavor is More Complex Than You Think

In this Public Broadcasting Service episode of Hungry Planet, North Carolina State University doctoral student Modesta Abugu tells Niba about her research to make sweetpotatoes more delicious by identifying the aromatic molecules that give rise to their complex flavor.

Sub-Sahara African Sweetpotatoes

Jun 1, 2023

New funding for CGIAR breeding to boost food and nutrition security in Africa 

CGIAR is to receive a USD$30 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop modern and efficient breeding systems for root, tuber, and banana (RTB) staple crops for sub-Saharan Africa.

Sweetpotato Team showing Wolfpack hands

Oct 25, 2022

Craig Yencho and Ken Pecota Receive Innovator of the Year Award

Dr. Craig Yencho and Ken Pecota of the Sweetpotato Breeding and Genetics Programs were both honored with the Innovator of the Year

Modesta Abugu in a sweetpotato field

Oct 14, 2022

Modesta Abugu: Improving Sweetpotato Flavor for Nutrition Security

Ph.D. student Modesta Abugu is researching flavor compounds in sweetpotatoes with a goal of increasing consumption and improving global nutrition security.

Craig Yencho presenting potato variety

Oct 29, 2021

Protecting Our State’s New Rural Cash Crop

The true profit potential of sweetpotatoes has been held back by an aggressive and invasive pest. NC State’s Craig Yencho will lead a $5 million grant-funded project to fight it.

Feb 9, 2021

PSI Profile: Chris Reberg-Horton, Platform Director for Resilient Agricultural Systems

The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative’s platform director for resilient agricultural systems shares thoughts on the position, the initiative, agriculture and NC State.

Feb 8, 2021

PSI Profile: Ross Sozzani, Platform Director for Plant Improvement

The plant improvement platform director for the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative shares her vision: collaboration, innovative crop technologies and students ready for the workforce.