Share your research and experience, ask and answer questions, meet your peers.

Topic 11: “Free Sweetpotato Vine Distribution-Opportunity or Illusion”

The topic “free sweetpotato vine distribution-an opportunity or illusion” was proposed for discussion because it is a practice that seems to be going on in many of the participating countries in SSA, while there are divergent views about its objectives, suitability/benefits as well as effectiveness. The topic sought to obtain from members their own experiences with free/subsidized distribution of planting materials, sharing evidence of success, failures and challenges; views either supporting or not supporting and what lessons can be learnt from the experiences. It is one of the topics that had a considerable contribution from economists who, provided different perspectives and suggested market-based models based on theory and practice, which could be tried/adapted to sweetpotato seed systems. The topic ran for 33 days, attracted 37 contributions from 16 unique respondents from 10 countries. This summary highlights the key points, any areas of consensus, disagreement, and any ideas suggested that members could consider to try/test in their work to further learning and inform development/practice in sweetpotato seed system.