This question, which is particularly critical for vegetatively propagated crops like sweetpotato, was the subject of the 5th Consultation of the Seed Systems and Crop Management Community of Practice, which took place on May 10-12, 2016 in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting was co-hosted by the SRI-Kibaha, Division of Research and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives and Crop Biosciences Arusha.
The theme of the meeting was ‘Marketing strategies for quality sweetpotato seed’. It was attended by 45 participants from 11 national sweetpotato programmes producing pre-basic seed, as well as other sweetpotato seed interventions implemented by SeFaMaCo, HarvestPlus, and Natural Resources Institute.
Participants got an opportunity to learn from MEDA, an organization whose project titled Muhogo Mbegu Bingwa is helping to improve marketing strategies for cassava seed in Tanzania. They went on a learning journey to Crop Biosciences Solutions, a private tissue culture laboratory that is based on the outskirts of Arusha. Afterwards, they visited Silverdale-Kimashaku farm, which is among three export pilot farms growing orange-fleshed sweetpotato for the export market by Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA). During the learning journey, they observed and discussed how commercialized pre-basic seed is feeding into an innovative partnership between TAHA and an Israeli firm that will help Tanzanian sweetpotato farmers to access the export market.