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Functioning seed systems meeting farmer demand are key to improving sweetpotato production and productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, sweetpotato seed systems are affected by a number of technical, socio-economic, institutional and financial constraints that translate into low productivity of sweetpotato in SSA; these are a common concern in many countries. To encourage exchange of experiences and knowledge generation which could help identify new ways to tackle these issues  a sweetpotato seed systems Community of Practice (CoP) was conceived at the  2nd Sweetpotato Seed Systems Consultation  and Sweetpotato Platform meeting  that was held at Entebbe, Uganda, 14th-15th April 2014.  

We are committed to developing and being active members of a dynamic CoP on sweetpotato seed system research and development. We are genuinely interested in learning from each other’s expertise and practice. As members we combine our own interests with an open mandate from our organisation and we work together in an informal structure.

The purpose of the CoP will be to facilitate networking, the exchange of experiences and learning in order to generate new knowledge about how to tackle crucial constraints in sweetpotato seed systems across SSA. The membership of the CoP is open to committed individuals and organisations that have a mandate to work on sweetpotato seed systems.

 

We will do this through:

 

  1. Bi-monthly web-based (SPKP) discussion forum on specific topics
  2. Annual physical meeting of active participating members
  3. Ad-hoc communication between participating members
  4. Preparation of briefs and concept notes in response to demand or specific calls

 

We anticipate the following outputs:

 

  1. Increased visibility and spread of good sweetpotato seed system technologies and practices across the three sub-regions (e.g. business models for sweetpotato vine multiplication and distribution; Triple S root based vine multiplication approach; low cost net tunnel protection of basic material)
  2. Increased information flow with respect to availability and management of sweetpotato germplasm
  3. Improved information flow about different sweetpotato seed system initiatives
  4. Harmonisation and where appropriate standardisation of relevant protocols (e.g. QDS/QDPM; germplasm exchange protcols,

 

This process will be facilitated by a core team representing different sub-regions and interest groups within the CoP, with backstopping by the International Potato Center (CIP).

 

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