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Home / Project / Commercializing clean sweetpotato seed production in areas with a long dry season

Commercializing clean sweetpotato seed production in areas with a long dry season

Project Ongoing

At the start of the rainy season, there is often a lack of adequate planting material. Vine multipliers grow crops in wetlands during the dry season and then sell the vines as planting material at the start of the rainy season. Currently, the multipliers have minimal contact with research organizations and most lack improved varieties and modern methods of propagation. They also face constraints and specific issues regarding gender as well as lack of knowledge and skills related to business planning.      

To demonstrate that the existing sweetpotato vine multipliers can commercially and sustainably deliver vines of both existing and new varieties to farmers.

In Gulu Uganda, a diversity of marketing strategies has been identified together with the different prices associated with the different stages – promoting the use of mobile phones seems especially valuable. In Tanzania, simple direct multiplier – farmer chains have mostly been identified and new ways of marketing vines, similar to those in Uganda, appear very successful.

Richard Gibson;

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK;

r.w.gibson@gre.ac.uk;

nosbigrw@yahoo.com

Key Project Information

This proposal works with existing sweetpotato vine multipliers to supply increased quantities of planting material (vines) of improved varieties to smallholder farmers. These multipliers grow crops in wetlands during the dry season and then sell the vines as planting material at the start of the rainy season. Value chain analysis mapped and analyzed existing vine multiplication systems, identifying the actors involved, the key drivers (e.g. wholesale traders), their relationships and the physical flows of vines. It also captured current margins, costs, losses, opportunities and constraints facing the system and specific issues regarding gender. This is being used to generate knowledge and business models, leading to advice regarding business planning, changes to production practices etc.

 

Currently, the multipliers have minimal contact with research organizations and most lack improved varieties and modern methods of propagation. We link the multipliers to research institutes, using small on-farm demonstration trials of new varieties, better propagation methods and fertilizer as a means for farmers/researcher interaction.

 

In Gulu Uganda, a diversity of marketing strategies has been identified together with the different prices associated with the different stages – promoting the use of mobile phones seems especially valuable. In Tanzania, simple direct multiplier – farmer chains have mostly been identified and new ways of marketing vines, similar to those in Uganda, appear very successful. The demonstration plots have successfully disseminated some modern white and orange fleshed cultivars such as NASPOT 11, 12 and 13 and New Dimbuka in Uganda; in Tanzania, the variety NASPOT 1 is being adopted whilst NASPOT 11, 12 and 13 and New Dimbuka are undergoing release documentation. In Tanzania, the use of fertilizer has also proved popular amongst multipliers.

 

Perhaps the main success of the project has been to demonstrate that the existing sweetpotato vine multipliers can commercially and sustainably deliver vines of both existing and new varieties to farmers. The use of fertilizer and improved methods of propagation and trade are already demonstrating the potential of these multipliers to provide an adequate seed system for farmers and there seem.

 

Project Leader: Richard Gibson

Project members: Yuventino Obong, Terence Omony (Ngetta); Stephen Kalule, Paul Rachkara (Univ Gulu); Gration Rwegasira (SUA); Everina Lukonge, Rahila Amour, Lembris Laizer (Ukiriguru); Wilfred Mushobozi (Eco Agri Consult); David Phillips (NRI).

Start date February 01, 2013
End date January 01, 2017
Lead organization Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
Collaborating organizations Ukiriguru Agricultural Research & Development Institute, Tanzania Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania Eco Agri Consultancy Services Ltd, Tanzania Ngetta Agricultural Research & Development Institute, Uganda Gulu University, Uganda
Region East Africa
Countries Tanzania, Uganda

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