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Determinants of Sweetpotato Commercialization in South Nyanza, Kenya

Sweetpotato serves as an important food security crop in many parts of Kenya, but rarely is a principal food staple or significant cash crop. A structured household survey conducted among 81 sweetpotato growers examines the factors influencing the extent to which farmers engage in commercial sweetpotato production in four distinct agro-ecologies in South Nyanza, the major sweetpotato growing area in Kenya. The sample is purposively stratified on agro-ecological conditions, road access, age of the sweetpotato grower, and gender of the household head. Marketing constraints emerge as the most limiting factor to expanding sweetpotato production and insufficient planting material and weevil infestation are also important constraints in drier agro-ecologies. Men typically cultivate sweetpotato only when the crop becomes commercially important. Differences in varietal characteristics preferred by commercial and non-commercial producers of sweetpotato are explored.


Authors: Jan W. Low, Jan W. Low

Contributors: Jens Riis-Jacobsen, Jens Riis-Jacobsen

Subjects: Sweetpotato commercialization

Pages: 25

Publisher: Sixth Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops

Publication Date: 1995

Keywords: Kenya, Market chains, Value chain approach


Low, J. W. (1998). Determinants of sweetpotato commercialization in south Nyanza, Kenya. In Root crops and poverty alleviation, ed. M. O. Akoroda and I. J. Ekanayake. Proceedings of the Sixth Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) - Africa Branch, 22-28 October 1998, Lilongwe, Malawi. Lilongwe, Malawi: ISTRC.