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Presentation 15: Commercializing quality planting material: A Case of Sweetpotato in Kenya

Srinivasulu Rajendran, International Potato Center (CIP), Regional Research Agricultural Economist,, +254-701281551

Margaret McEwan, International Potato Center (CIP), Senior Project Manager,, +254-733681155

Elizabeth Ngundo, International Potato Center (CIP), Technical Assistant, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS),, +254-722845895




Sweetpotato is a major food crop in Eastern and Southern African countries. However, smallholders have not been able to achieve its potential yield due to lack of access to and use of quality seed, which is a key constraint to increasing productivity and income. Farmers rely on farmer-to-farmer exchange of vines of unknown quality for free of charge. Farmers’ ability to access new varieties and improved seed, depends not only on farmer’s seed demand characteristics, but also on linkages to systems that produce and regularly deliver early generation seed on a sustainable basis. The public institutions who produces Early Generation Seed (EGS), who have the mandate to generate, promote improved varieties and also adopted a business orientation for EGS production, but face technical and institutional constraints and unreliable funding streams.  Therefore, the International Potato Center (CIP) has been working in collaboration with the national sweetpotato programmes to strengthen the technical, institutional and financial capacities for sweetpotato EGS production. A key tool in this process has been the preparation of business plans which includes appropriate prices for EGS.  The preliminary results indicate that, the price of per sweetpotato tissue culture plantlet produced by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), varies between 50 and 100 Kenyan Shillings (KSH) which includes cost of production, margin and markup. The price of hardening material varies between 15 and 40 KSH and price of pre-basic seed varies between 10 and 35 KSH.  These prices are market efficient and also vary based on type of consumers.


Authors: Srini Rajendran

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.

Keywords: Commercialization, Early generation seed, Prices