Sweetpotato is an important drought-resistant crop grown in Western Kenya. It is mostly grown by small-scale farmers for subsistence although its commercialisation is beginning to gain importance. Significant progress has been made by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) and stakeholders to introduce superior yielding varieties including Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP). With increased root yield of the improved varieties, there is need for wider utilisation and expanded market. Due to high perishability of the roots after harvest, farmers have been confined to household consumption and minimal sale within their localities. Traditional processing and utilisation has until very recently been limited to boiling and roasting. To enhance consumption and commercialisation, improved low-cost OFSP value addition technologies were introduced in Siaya, Kakamega and Busia counties of western Kenya. Using participatory and practical hands-on sessions, 128 lead farmers (males=34, females=94) were trained in 2016 as trainers (ToTs) on processing of OFSP into shelf-stable intermediate products (grits and flour), and various value-added products for consumption including chapatti, mandazi, crackies, doughnuts, juice, salad and vegetable relish. Sensory evaluation of the products revealed that baked products incorporating composite OFSP flour and wheat flour (i.e. chapatti, mandazi and crackies) were the most preferred. Future value addition efforts should, therefore, focus on these products which have higher likelihood of adoption and sustainability. Such efforts should target informal roadside sellers of mandazi and chapatti in the study areas, who may find it easy to incorporate OFSP into their product portfolios.
Key words: Sweetpotato, OFSP, value addition, food security, Kenya
Subjects: MPU CoP
Publication Date: 2017
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) - You can copy, distribute, display and perform the work and evolved versions of it. You must give the original creator credit for the work.