Smallholders in Eastern and Southern Africa(ESA) have limited access to timely availability of quality sweetpotato seed which contributes to sub-optimal root yields. To enhance availability and access to quality seed it is necessary to link formal plant breeding efforts to a sustainable seed supply system by means of identifying business opportunities for sweetpotato Early Generation Seed (EGS) producers. In most ESA countries, public institutions have the sole mandate for EGS production, but have not adopted an explicit business orientation. The study used primary information collected from business plans prepared by eight National Agricultural Research Institutions(NARIs) in seven countries in ESA. This study first analyzed the overall business opportunities for public institutions using a Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities, and Threats(SWOT) tool and then a Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Strengths (TOWS) approach was used to transform the SWOT results into strategies for the further development of the early generation seed sector. It was concluded that over a five to ten year period, the NARIs do have a business case for production of sweetpotato EGS. However, to capitalise on this NARIs and policy makers need to take up there commendations from the TOWS analysis to refine strategies for exploiting opportunities in the business environment and for mitigating weaknesses to reduce vulnerability to any identified threats to the potential business in EGS.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
FAO, FAOSTAT-Statistical Database, 2015. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2015
Lanteri S., Quagliotti L., Problems related to seed production in the African Countries. Euphytica, 1997, 96, 173-183
Louwaars N.P., De Boef W.S., Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa: A Conceptual Framework for Creating Coherence between Practices, Programs and Policies. Journal of Crop Improvement, 2012, 26, 39-59
McEwan M., Almekinders C., Abidin P E., Andrade M., Carey T., Gibson R., Naico A., Namanda S., Schulz S., “Can small still be beautiful? Moving local sweetpotato seed systems to scale in sub-Saharan Africa”. In: Low, JW. et al. (eds.) African Potato and Sweetpotato Value Chains: Transformations for Food Security and Nutrition’. Nairobi: CABI, 2015
Rajendran S., Afari-Sefa V., Karanja D.K., Musebed R., Romneye D., Makaranga M.A., Samali S., Kessy R.F., Farmer-led Seed Enterprise Initiatives to Access Certified Seed for Traditional African Vegetables and its Effect on Incomes in Tanzania, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 2016, 19(1), 1-24
McEwan M., Early Generation Seed Production - Can public sector institutions and NARIs shift to a business orientation?, Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal, 28 October 2016, http://www.sweetpotatoknowledge.org/early-generation-seed-production-can-public-sector-institutions-and-naris-shift-to-a-business-orientation/
McEwan M., Rajendran S., Is there a business case for early generation seed?, Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal, September 2016, http://www.sweetpotatoknowledge.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/FLYER_Is-there-a-business-case-for-earlygeneration-seed-SEP2016-HR.pdf
Rajendran S., Commercializing quality planting material: a case of sweetpotato in eastern and western Africa, Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal, 17th January, 2017, http://www.sweetpotatoknowledge.org/commercializing-quality-plantingmaterial-in-eastern-and-western-africa/
Dyson R. G., Strategic development and SWOT analysis at the University of Warwick. European Journal of Operational Research, 2004, 152, 631-640