HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
Agri 2024

Anne Wanjogu Gichangi

Anne Wanjogu Gichangi, Speaker at Agriculture Conferences
Knya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kenya
Title : Formal seed systems to support rapid adoption of improved varieties in sweet potatoes


Sweetpotato is one of the important food security crops in Kenya. A shortage of clean planting materials is the main constraint in production this crop. For the subsequent planting seasons, farmers use their own saved seed. However, the farmers are unable to maintain their seed due to the sweet potato virus (SPVD) and the recurrent drought, which has led to the serious reduction of sweet potato root yield. One of the major challenges affecting the quality of planting materials and seriously reducing their production is SPVD. The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) is therefore trying to clean the planting material in tissue culture as well as supply virus free seed of preferred varieties through a predominantly basic vine production process.

In the country, there are a couple of sweetpotato seed multipliers that buy their first seeds from KALRO and plant clean Sweetpotato vines. These multipliers, on the other hand, are operating a seed business that does not have any business plan and often do not cover their production costs which leads them to abandon this trade. This study therefore aimed at developing a business model for sweetpotato seed production in KALRO and encouraging the multipliers to draw up their own business plans so that they can continue in Sweetpotato Seed Production.

According to the study, with an exchange rate of USD 1 = 109.6667 KES at the time of the study in 2021, breakeven costs were approximately 0.34 KES or USD 0.96 per 3 and 4 node. Sweet potato vine cutting in KALRO in 2021 was selling at two Kenya shillings or US $0.018. As a result of these figures and factoring in contingencies, it has been established that the cash flow is positive as well as that the business can continue to generate profits. This sweetpotato seed business model is the first of its kind in public institutions in Kenya and can be used as a reference for seed business of other crops.

Keywords: Business plan, cash flow, quality seed vines, SPVD, sweetpotato, tissue culture.

Audience Takeaway:

  • Quality planting materials are very essential to increase the production and productivity of sweetpotato
  • This will help in increased production
  • Yes this work can be used by faculties to expand their research
  • Yes , this will provide practical solutions and also has provided new information  to assist in designing production problems
  • Will it improve the accuracy of a design, or provide new information to assist in a design problem? List all other benefits.
  • Access to clean and sufficient planting materials at the right time,
  •  cleaning the planting materials in tissue culture, acclimatizing, multiplication of pre-basic seeds in insect proof net tunnels and basic seeds in isolated open fields is very essential.



 Dr. Gichangi studied Agricultural Economics at Egerton University, Kenya and graduated as MSc in 2010. She has been working with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) at the Food Crop Research Institute (FCRI) Njoro, Nakuru Kenya. She received her PhD degree in 2023 at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Food security.

After doctoral degree she obtained the position of a chief Research Scientist (CRS) at KALRO. She has authored and co-authored  more than 10 research articles in various journals.

Signup for updates

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive emails and notifications from Magnus Group. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the Safe Unsubscribe link, found at the bottom of every email