Generating Income through Sweet Potato Seed Production
Sweet potato farming in Kakamega County is mostly done for the crop, the vines and the roots. However, Abraham Mr. Kutwsa took a different direction after receiving training from ADS Western in partnership with GIZ and KALRO through The Sweet Potato Project and ventured into sweet potato seed production. He says that it is important to produce sweet potato seeds because farmers have been using traditional methods of farming and lacked access to certified seeds from government research institutes.
Mr Kutwsa understands both local and international sweet potato market dynamics. “I have different varieties of sweet potatoes on my farm like Irene which is exported to the international market, the Orange-fleshed sweet potato commonly known as Kabonde are rich in vitamins and sort after by processors.” For the open markets, he grows Yellow-fleshed and White-fleshed sweet potatoes. A 90kg bag of sweet potato seeds goes for approximately Ksh.800.
Through sweet potato seed production, Mr Kutswa has sold over 250 bags of sweet potato(90 kg of sweet potato seed goes for approximately kshs 800) seed which totals up to Ksh.200,000. Through this, he pays his children’s school fees, takes care of household expenses and recently bought a shamba to further his farming. However, his biggest achievement has been purchasing a solar-powered irrigation machine that has greatly help to him in seed production.
Seed Production has positively influenced Kutswa’s life and he is thankful to ADS Western and its partners for introducing him to sweet potato seed production.
Through farmers like him, The Sweet Potato Project is achieving its objective of increasing productivity, creating employment and generating income for the farmers. He highly encourages other farmers to embrace sweet potato seed production for quality seeds that lead to better yields and hence improved income.