EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish

 

 

GREENER JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES

 

ISSN: 2276-7770           ICV: 6.15

Submitted: 25/07/2013

Accepted: 22/08/2013

Published: 14/12/2015

Research Article (DOI http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2015.7.072513755)

 

Sweet Potato Market Chain Analysis: The Case of SNNPR, Ethiopia

 

Getahun Degu1*, Elias Uragie3, Awole Zeberga2, Sadik Musemil4 and Tesfaye Adane5

 

1Senior Researcher, Agricultural Economist, SARI/ Hawassa Agricultural Research Center.

2Agricultural Economist, SARI/Areka Agricultural Research Center.

3Breeder, SARI/ Hawassa Agricultural Research Center.

4Breeder, SARI/Areka Agricultural Research Center.

5Expert, GOAL Hawassa (NGO).

 

*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: getahundegu@ ymail. com

 

ABSTRACT

 

This study provides primary information of sweet potato market value chain analysis in Sidama and Wolayita\zone in SNNPR. The survey was conducted in two districts for each zone with the total sample of producers 134 and 35 traders for each market participants to diagnose the farming system and identify the market actors and their functions along the value chain. The objective of the study was to develop value chain maps and identify the major sweet potato value chain actors, carry out value chain and economic analyses, identify the constraints faced by sweet potato value chain actors and identify strategic intervention areas for increasing the competitiveness of sweet potato value chain. The analysis was done using descriptive statistics, such as frequency, mean, chi-square and t-test for discrete and continuous variables whether identified factors were statistically significant or not. The economic analysis on the marginal cost-benefit among the markets that participated were calculated.

The results considerably reflected producers having comparative advantage in terms of location and agro ecology in producing sweet potato and improving the productivity. Along with increasing the traditional seed supply system, introducing improved seed production and marketing system can significantly contribute to the solution. The seedling sweet potato producers can then be linked with ware sweet potato producers to create access to market for their business. Thus, improved sweet potato seedlings should be replaced not to lose their genetic potential of the crop with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders like Ministry of Agriculture, Bureaus of Agriculture, Research Institutions, NGOs and Seed Producers. The system should enable farmers replace the improved varieties at regular intervals to improve production and productivity and ably provide significant supply to market participants to sustain the market linkage and competitiveness.

Improving farmers’ access to agricultural equipment through different strategies such as credit would help to increase the participation decision of the farmers’ in Seedling/tuber contract farming for multiplication of new varieties of potato as recommended. On the other hand, efforts aimed at promoting the participation of farmers in contract farming and linkages to market participants ease the marketing transaction in due course.

 

Keywords- Survey, market, value chain map, value chain actors, economic analysis, constraints, strategic intervention and recommendations.

 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

1.1       Background

 

Sweet potato is among the crops that play particular role in food security, nutrition and income generation to resource-poor farmers and consumers in developing countries. The crops perform better than major crops of the world under extreme soil and climatic conditions prevalent in developing world particularly in Africa (Zerihun, 2009).

Ethiopia is among those countries producing sweet potato mainly for food despite the general consideration of the crop as less important by most people. Sweet potato is used as food for human, livestock feed and in industrial processes to make alcohol and starch in many countries. Sweet potato is among the crops rich in carbohydrates.

            According to the Ethiopian population census of 2007 (CSA, 2008/09), the population of SNNPR was estimated at 15,042,531 with 49.7 male and 50.3 female ratios. The majority of the population (89.7) live in the rural area and only 10.3 live in urban area. In SNNPR, sweet potato is the second most important root crop next to enset in area coverage and volume of production. Central Statistics Agency (CSA, 2003, E.C) Meher (main season) report indicated that sweet potato occupied 81,698 hectares of land with a total production of 736,349.3 tone of this; 78,627.43 hectares (96%) of land with a total production of 7,111, 19.1 tons was obtained from SNNPR and Oromiya. On the same report, the last year figure shows that there is increase in area and production by 52.81 and 63.36 respectively, in the country.

The Southern Nation Nationality Peoples Region (SNNPR) and Oromiya alone account for about 96 percent of the total area devoted to sweet potato in the country (CSA, 2010/11). The increase in area and production in the SNNPR could be because of its high productivity and more farmers engaged in production and utilizing of sweet potato. Yield of sweet potato varies with cultivar, locations and agronomic practices. Based on CSA report of 2010/2011 (2003 E.C) the national average yield of sweet potato was 9 tons per hectare. The SNNPR average yield is 10.3 tons per hectare. However, yield in research stations using improved varieties and available technology ranges from 30-50 tons per hectare. This indicates that the national as well as the regional yield is by far lower than the attainable yield of the crop potential. In Sidama and Wolayita Zone, sweet potato is grown in an area of 9,842 ha (22) and 16,384 ha (39) respectively which is 22 and 39 percent of their total cultivated area. The productivity is approximately 2.5 tons per hectare for the Meher season, 2011 BOA, SNNPR.

There are a number of biophysical and socio-economical constraints that hinder the productivity of sweet potato under small holder farmers' circumstance. Among others, lack of high yielding varieties with acceptable quality and diseases resistant/tolerant has been identified as a major limiting factor. Bulkiness and perishability traits also highly hinder the production and productivity of the crop. The need to propose sweet potato value chain analysis (VCA) was due to the fact that a comprehensive understanding of operation of commodity markets requires an understanding of the operation of different stages and their underlying functions through which a product and its associated value additions pass from production point to a consumption end. Comprehensive understanding of the coordination of the value chain requires a careful assessment of producer and consumer demand characteristics and organizational and institutional arrangements that are in place to conciliate these demands by variety of actors.

 

1.2. Objective Of The Study

 

    Develop value chain maps and identify the major sweet potato value chain actors;

    Carry out Value Chain and Economic Analyses,

    Identify the constraints faced by sweet potato value chain actors;

    Identify strategic intervention areas for increasing the competitiveness of sweet potato value chain.

 

 

2. METHODOLOGY

 

The study area was Sidama and Wolayita Zone of SNNPR, Ethiopia; where there is a high potential of growing sweet potato in the country and two districts per zone were purposefully selected. The research design focused entirely on a commodity sub sector approach. This technique relied mainly on formal and informal interviews with structured questionnaire on randomly and purposively selected sample respondents; direct observation of critical stages in the production–transformation–distribution sequence and reliance on sound secondary data sources. Thus, the study employed information obtained from both primary and secondary data sources. The primary data was obtained from smallholder farmers and sweet potato traders along the supply chain. Secondary data was collected from CSA, Bureau of Agriculture (BoA) and Marketing and cooperative bureaus. Semi-structured informal interview guidelines were drawn up as checklists of key issues and topics. Before field data collection, the structured questionnaire and checklists were pre-tested to further amend the questionnaire and discussion points to make sure that important issues had not been left out.

Sample respondents and markets were selected using random and purposive sampling techniques depending on the nature and distribution of the sampling frame to represent the population of interest. For the formal survey, 169 sample respondents; 134 randomly selected producers and 35 traders were intentionally selected at various marketing stages in the market chain and interviewed. Both random and purposive sampling techniques were employed depending on the type, distribution and size of the population and gender based considerations. Other key actors primarily involved in various marketing functions were also randomly selected; the sizes of whom were dependent on number of stages, function and actors in the market chain.

 

Method of data collection

 

The study was conducted using information collected from farmers and other marketing agents and actors that participate either directly or indirectly in the functioning of the sweet potato market chain in the study area. For this study, both formal and informal survey were conducted. Informal survey was used to gather data that are qualitative and quantitative referring to the role and function of participant whom are not included in the formal survey that also provides the holistic structure and channel and map of sweet potato market chain actors, functions and other interactions between and among actors. Furthermore, rapid market appraisal (RMA) was employed before designing questionnaire to make the information as comprehensive as possible. This was conducted using checklist to homogenize the type and quality of the information to be collected. Enumerators were oriented about the type of data required, the number and list of sample respondents and also objectives of the study before they carried out data collection. The whole process was executed under close supervision of researchers from Areka and Hawassa Agricultural Research Centers (ARC).

 

Method of Data Analysis

 

The data collected from the farmers, traders and other chain actors was checked, encoded and explored and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques depending on the information required and type of variables to be analyzed.

 

 

3.   RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

 

3.1  Value Chain Actors and Functions in SNNPR

 

Value chain actors are classified as those individuals who take ownership of a product, through the exchange of money or equivalent goods or services, during the transaction process of moving the product from conception to the end user. Those individuals or firms providing a service without taking ownership of the product are classified as service providers. The primary actors in a sweet potato value chain in both zones were seedling and other input suppliers; farmers; traders; brokers; processors; retailers; and consumers. Each of these actors adds value in the process of changing product. In the case of sweet potato, value addition is only by tuber transaction in different markets but not in changing the form of the product to flour for producing different sp products and there will be demand and producers receive better price as well as other value chain actors along the value chain.

The main processes of sweet potato value chain include input supply, technical support (extension service), production, processing, trading and consumption. The functions performed by the chain actors are depicted in Figure 1. The description of the value chain functions and actors is given in the subsequent sub-sections. Table 1 lists the major actors of sweet potato value chain in the study areas.

 

 

4. INPUT SUPPLIERS

 

4.1 Planting material

 

It has been seen that Wolayita farmers are more experienced in using their own planting material than Sidama farmers which is 51 and 22%, respectively. This may be attributed to the larger unit area allocation for TMS, the unavailability of external sources of vine which could force farmers to preserve and maintain their own seed and the food security value of the crop to them. The relatively poor experience of vine saving of Sidama farmers for the main sweet potato growing season has been backed up by the supply from private multipliers and NGOs which is 22 and 56%, respectively. Early in the main season for Mehir, both areas have sufficient planting materials from last season harvest that would be maintained and multiplied under shade in their backyards to preserve the planting material for next season (Fig 2 & 3).

               

 

 

 

 

 

4.2.2 Fertilizer and chemicals

 

 

 

5    SWEET POTATO PRODUCERS

 

5.1 Social and demographic characteristics

 

The total sex compositions of sampled respondents were male (113) and female (20). Their age, family size and educational level were depicted in Table 2.

 

 

 

 

5.2 Distribution of sample respondents by access to basic facilities

 

As shown in the diagram below farmers have easy access to agricultural extension services, all weather road, credit services, public telephone service, output and input market that will facilitate dissemination of agricultural production technologies, marketing facilities, strengthen home income generation and purchase of agricultural inputs (Fig 5).

 

 

 

 

The sampled farmers have sweet potato in their farm as reported by about 89% of Sidama and 80% of Wolayita. The total mean size of own land in ha is 0.713 and 0.78 for the two zones as depicted in Table 3. While the land allocated for sweet potato production out of the total land allocated in ha was 0.203 and 0.24. The productivity of sweet potato qt/ha were 52.87 and 68.19 which is very low (Table 3). However, the respective zones are very much higher as compared to the potential yield of improved varieties and this lower productivity should be improved through the introduction of improved varieties and agronomic practices.

 

 

 

 

5.3. Sweet potato seed system

 

By early 2009, the majority of the existing sweet potato planting material in the Southern Peoples Nations and Nationalities Region (SPNNR) had been lost due to severe dry conditions and viral load. At this stage, DONATA and CIP started investigating alternative means to rapidly multiply orange and white fleshed sweet potato planting material. CIP undertook a technical backstopping mission to review the situation with senior management in the Ethiopian Institute for Agriculture Research (EIAR), the Southern Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) and Awassa Agriculture Research Centre (AARC). A private enterprise, Mekele Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, and Research based tissue culture has identified that which could undertake large scale multiplication of clean planting material and get contracted for large scale multiplication of sweet potato plantlets.

The planting material that was obtained from tissue culture was used as a starter planting material to establish primary multiplication sites (PMS) in selected isolated sites around Awassa. The PMS further expanded under close supervision of Awassa and Areka ARCs to ensure that materials are free of pests and diseases. Vines generated were to be distributed to the secondary multiplication sites (SMS) managed by private sectors and NGOs after an inception training on clean and quality vine production technologies was delivered to them and BoA agricultural experts. The private vine multipliers has engaged in both orange and white fleshed varieties and they have a wide range of customers such as local communities, local and regional BoA, and NGOs. Brokers involve in transacting sweet potato vine, white fleshed types, at individual farmers level either at the end of the short rain season which farmers maintain sweet potato TMS plots for the main sweet potato growing season or at any time collecting directly from farmers field. But they have no role at all for OFSP since the planting material is being solely supplied by private multipliers and researcher stations as well as the volume at farmer’s gate are insufficient.

 

5.3.1. Sweet potato vine production and marketing in SNNPR

 

Though sweet potato is primarily utilized from its tuber, most farmers use the carryover vines of last season crop either sold or used for own to multiply it in their near backyards or under the shade of enset plant that will be used as source of planting material in the main season sweet potato planting. Some group/individual farmers that have access to irrigation or nearby water source multiply sweet potato vine for sale year round and serve as sources of planting material for local community. Besides, due to the influence of brokers, those resource poor farmers sell their on-field sweet potato farm at any time for vine harvesters that transport them to other areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of Sweet potato farmer in Wolayta zone, Sweet potato tuber production and own vine maintenance

 

 

5.3.2. Sweet potato seed (vine) supply chain actors and their roles

 

Sweet potato seed system actors and their roles

 

Tissue Culture: Virus indexing and cleaning is being conducted and start up virus free vine is acquired from tissue culture laboratories. Acclimatization of virus free plantlets is also undertaken in these laboratories and delivered to Secondary multiplication sites (SMS) primarily based in various Research stations. Mekele Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, Holetta and Areka Agricultural Research Centers based tissue culture laboratories have taken this role and are implementing the activity.

 

Primary multiplication sites (PMSs): The hardened planting material that was obtained from tissue culture was used as a starter planting material to establish primary multiplication sites (PMS) in selected isolated sites and undergone rapid multiplication technique in research stations.

 

Secondary multiplication sites (SMS): Planting material in PMS further multiplied in SMSs and entered into the vine distribution channel. Clean plantlets from SMSs are further expanded to tertiary multiplication sites (TMS) implemented under Research stations and other private vine producers.

 

Tertiary multiplication sites (TMS): This segment of the seed system acquires clean plantlets from SMSs and further multiplies and injects them to the distribution path. These include private vine producers such as Muluneh plc, Sunshine plc, etc and research stations using farmers training centers (FTC) and nurseries owned and managed by Woreda Bureau of agriculture (BoA).

 

Commercial vine producers: The private vine multipliers have recently emerged and engaged in sweet potato tuber production and primarily vine multiplication. Muluneh plc and Sunshine plc and Ezra plc are among the private vine multipliers. They enter the seed system (vine distribution channel) through distribution agents such as NGOs and government through BoA and supply directly to the farmers.

 

Dissemination agents: This segment comprises of NGOs, GOs and other farmer and non farmer associations. They are actively involved in the distribution channel when there is shortage of vine. They purchase vines from various sources mentioned above and supply them to farmers without charging any price.

 

Brokers and Traders: Brokers and traders have been playing key role in the transaction process. They are mainly involved in the transaction process by linking dissemination segments to farmers in charge of selling vines. This transaction mainly involves the transaction of vine across zones and region using heavy trucks as means of transportation.

 

Farmer to farmer exchange: This includes the transaction of vine between farmers within villages and districts at most. The higher proportion of which is attributed to maintenance of own vine for the next crop season under special management practice as compared to tuber production.

 

 

 

 

5.3.3. Sweet potato varieties produced in Southern Ethiopia

 

The different sweet potato varieties released by national and regional research centers were illustrated in annex table 2 and 3.

 

5.3.4. Weeding

 

 

 

5.3.5. Sweet potato disease and pest management

 

The prevalence of disease and pests and their types shown in the figure 8.

 

 

 

 

5.3.6 Sweet potato product marketing and utilization

 

Important sweet potato product mainly comprises tuber and vine. The following table presents proportion sample farmers’ distribution by sweet potato tuber and vine supply to the market. The result depicted that 73.6 and 94.4 percent of respondents are involved in marketing of sweet potato tuber in Wolayta and Sidama zones respectively. Whereas 33.3 and 8.8 percent respondents in Wolayta and Sidama zones respectively engaged in supply of sweet potato vine (Table 4).

 

 

 

Market outlets and buyers type of tuber and vine in Wolayta and Sidama zones were assessed and summarized in figures 9 & 10. Majority of respondents in Sidama zone sell their tuber (48.6%) at zonal market (50%). This is probably due to their proxity to Awassa city which is zonal as well regional market. In Wolayta zone village and Woreda (district), markets are major tuber market destinations for farmers with a diversity of buyers type. The type of buyers comprises of secondary traders (25.8%), assemblers (24.2%), consumers (19.4) and retailers in village markets.

 

 

Figure 9. Distribution of respondents by tuber market outlet source and type

Source Computed from survey result

 

 

Vine Buyers type and market outlets for the two zones have also been summarized and presented in the figure below.

 

 

Figure 10. Distribution of respondents by source and type of vine (seed) market outlet

Source Computed from survey result

 

 

Farmers were requested to articulate their purpose of sweet potato production in their farm and the result has been presented in the figure below (Figure 11). Consumption, cash source and food security were among the primary purpose of sweet potato production in peasant households. Some farmers also replied that they use sweet potato product as feed.

 

 

Figure  11. Distribution of respondents by the purposes of sweet potato production

Source Computed from survey result

 

 

 

 

5.3.7 Sweet Potato processing

 

Small scale processors who make boiled sweet potatoes buy potato from retailers or the producers, process it and sell it. Processed potato were sold together with other relishes and food items. Large scale processing of sweet potato does not exist. Therefore, it is recommendable to process sweet potato into flour and it is possible to make different sweet potato products which can be packed and sold to consumers with receipt of making different foods and beverages.

 

5.3.8 Sweet Potato support service providers

 

The support structure of the SNNPR is a more concrete work on the nutritional aspect of sweet potato; NGOs, Goal, CIP and DONATA in collaboration with research centers promote the consumption of orange fleshed potato by educating the farmers how to prepare various kinds of dishes/recipes from sweet potato and also by providing virus clean planting material. These NGO and GO’s have produced a manual on how to prepare various kinds of products from orange fleshed and white fleshed sweet potato and how it can be prepared using local materials, according to the representatives of NGO’s during the workshop. This kind of initiatives should be encouraged in the future as it helps in diversifying potato markets and thereby create sustainable demand for sweet potato.

Agricultural development office provides agricultural extension and credit services to farmers through development agents. The key informant’s interview shows that the producers get extension service on general agriculture and even technical to increase farmer’s production skill not specifically to sweet potato. As the experts who participated in training workshop confirmed, specific knowledge and skill in production management of sweet potato is lacking and the agriculture experts apply what they learnt for horticulture or vegetables to sweet potato.

The farmers generally feel that there is no better extension advice given to them from the extension service. It appears that innovative ideas such as staggering the production system to catch up with the peak market demand for sweet potato, investment in sweet potato storage to enable farmers sell their produce when the price is relatively high, product quality improvement through sorting and grading, etc. are missing.

The marketing agency along with the Cooperative Agency also supports potato marketing together with the cooperative office, the agency works on market linkage but all of them focus on cooperatives and little or no attention for individual farmers.

 

 

6.   CHARACTERISTICS OF SWEET POTATO TRADERS AND MARKET MARGIN

 

The socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the sampled farmers were depicted in annex 4.

 

6.1 Market analysis

 

The sampled traders indicated that they have been operating their business 4 to 6 years in average. The amount of initial capital for their business in average ranges from 1019 to 1915 birr while their present mean amount of capital is 4656 to 6425 birr which showed 37% and 24% increase respectively. The frequency of sweet potato bought per week ranged from 2 to 3 days and that of sales per week ranged to 3 to 4 days (Table 5).

 

 

 

The role of market participants identified as traders were producer seller, rural assembler, wholesaler and retailers are in the sample and this difference is significant (t-value= 7.668; p< 0.01) between the study areas. Though, consumer survey was not conducted during this market survey but is very important to develop different sweet potato products to enhance consumptions in cafe, restaurants and for supermarkets. The traders mainly run their business alone according to 94.4% and 58.8% respectively for the study area. Their bases of the business were: High profit expectation 50% and capital accumulation 44.4% for Sidama; and family occupation history 40% and high profit expectation 40% for Wolayita. They also trade other root crops and also faced difficulties in buying the amount needed due to short supply, high competition, high price, as well as low supply, high competition and high price and they follow strategy to coup up such situations where they arranged better payment terms and conditions, use previous business relationships and offer better price and payment; it was depicted in Table 6. The supply of SP shows fluctuations across months according to 73 and 100 percent of traders.

 

 

 

The profitability of sweet potato as of the sample traders responded as lower (46.7%) and the same (33.3%) for Sidama and higher 41.7% and lower 33.3% for Wolayita and the difference between the two zones as such showed no significant difference. The value of sweet potato and profit earned is increasing according to 63 and 59 percent of the respondents for the two Zones (Table 7).

 

 

 

 

Regarding storage facilities, traders use to store sp purchased as of 61.1% and 64.7% for the two study areas respectively. Traders also stored the purchased sp in their own storage (64%) and rented (36.4%) for Sidama and this percentage also indicated for Wolayita rented (50%) and own (48%). However, they are not comfortable with the storage facilities according to 89% and 55% of the study areas. The reasons of storage as reported by traders were until transportation (60%), better price expectation (20%) and absence of buyers (20%) for Sidama whereas for Wolayita absence of buyers (54.6%), better price expectations (18.2%) and until transportation (18.2%). The proportion of sp stored to the total volume of transacted were 2 to 25% according to 50% of Sidama and 100% of Wolayita as well as 30 to 75% and 76 to 100% for Sidama. Meanwhile, the storage loss was estimated to be mainly for quality distortion in both study area depicted in Table 8.

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation problem according to the respondents was only 43.8% and 41.2% for Sidama and Wolayita. Whereas, access to business support services also shows less access as reported by 43.8% and 41.2% accordingly for the study area. The BSS accessible to traders was limited to credit and market information as of 71.4% and 16.7% as well as 28.6% and 66.7% for the latter in both zones accordingly. The trader’s linkage with farmers was considerable according to the respondents’ response of 85.7% for Sidama and 76.5% for Wolayita. The type of linkages is mainly verbal arrangement, 58.3% and 84.6% respectively indicated in Table 9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.2 Constraints in potato value chain

 

One of the intrinsic worth of value chain approaches is that it identifies bottlenecks to the development of the chain from input supply till consumption level in a vibrant way. Figure 14 summarizes the constraints identified in this study which is common for both regions.

 

 

 

 

Marketing channels refer to the routes taken by the products from producers to consumers. Sweet potato passes through various channels until it reaches the final consumer. Some five channels have been identified for sweet potato in the SP value chain study. The shortest channel occurs when producer directly sell it to the consumers. This occurs when the farmer brings small quantity of the product to market and the farmer is closer to urban centers. The most common type of sweet potato market channel when the farmers sell it to wholesaler and wholesaler in turn sell it to retailers and the retailers to final consumers (Fig 15).

 

 

 

 

7.   ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF SWEET POTATO VALUE CHAIN

 

7.1  Price

 

The quantity volumes of sweet potato and potato transacted in the market and their prices was depicted in Fig 16 during 2011/12. The monthly price variation for sweet potato from September to May was estimated to be 58.2% increase while for potato about 2 to 3 fold (240%). These data were based on the raw data collected by The Agricultural Marketing Agency of the Sidama Zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.2  Distribution of value addition

 

The sweet potato producers reported lower price of Birr 1.58 per kg by adding a value of Birr 0.24 per kg which is 5% of the total value added. Wholesaler added the least (27%) and the retailers added Birr 2.40 per kg which is about 45 % of the total value added (Table 10). The price differentials between what consumers pay and what producers receive is 72%, which is the highest in the study area.

 

 

 

8.  RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT

 

This study provides primary information of sweet potato market value chain analysis in Sidama and Wolayita zones, SNNPR. Farmers of the area have comparative advantage in terms of location and agro ecology in producing sweet potato and improving the productivity. Along with increasing the traditional seed supply system, introducing improved seed production and marketing system can significantly contribute to the solution. The seedling sweet potato producers can then be linked with ware sweet potato producers to create access to market for their business. Thus improved sweet potato seedlings should be replaced not to lose their genetic potential of the crop with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders like Ministry of Agriculture, Bureaus of Agriculture, Research Institutions, NGOs and Seed Producers. The system should enable farmers replace the improved varieties at regular intervals.

            Improving farmers’ access to agricultural equipment through different strategies such as credit would help to increase the participation decision of the farmers’ in Seedling/tuber contract farming for multiplication of new varieties of potato as recommended. On the other hand, efforts aimed at promoting the participation of farmers in contract farming and linkages to market participants ease the marketing transaction in due course.

 

8.1 Summary of interventions

 

Planting materials

 

Improved and quality seedlings should be available to the farmers along with other agronomic practices and crop protection advices as package of sweet potato technologies to enhance production and productivity. Use of fertilizer should be recommended to boost sweet potato production.

 

Storage facilities

 

Sweet potato is a highly perishable agricultural product. In all the study areas, lack of storage facilities for ware sweet potato was raised by farmers and other actors as a priority problem. This should receive due consideration. The storage loss, type of loss and problems were pinpointed in Table 8.

 

i. It is recommended to expand DLS in high Sweet potato producing areas to give options to farmers who can use tuber as planting materials per standard DLS design and construction. Through technical support to the farmers, cost effective mechanism of expanding DLS should be considered in order to store sweet potato tubers harvested and extend their shelf life to market it during the shortage period which farmers benefit with better price and improve their income from the crop. Although, after harvest and stored sweet potato, the land will be cultivated for the subsequent crop.

 

ii. Build capacity of the government staff especially DAs to control the quality of the DLS constructed at household level. Training and experience sharing for local business persons may stimulate construction of DLS to making earning out of it. Individual farmers can invest in storage facilities if they are well aware of the benefits and could increase their productivity. This requires capacitating farmers’ entrepreneurship. Production: producing diverse types of potato varieties can create attractive market. From consumer and processor surveys, it was learnt that preference for S. potato varies from location to location and by consumer type. Whoever, to diversify S. potato products to flour, cookies, crisps and to other products stimulate the demand of sweet potato in urban areas.

 

Transportation

 

In the potato market survey, it was observed that potato is transported over long distance either spread on floor of the truck or put in congested sacks. During loading and unloading, there is mishandling of the products which lead to quick spoilage and high loss.

 

i. It is important to establish potato transportation standards and enforce it;

 

ii. Local seed production may reduce the need for long distance transportation. Hence, enhance the potato seed production in the project regions. For the ware potato, create awareness on potato transportation. It is also essential to establish linkage between producers and traders and promote the relationship between quality and price. As this goes along, the traders start to demand the use of appropriate means of transporting potato.

 

Marketing

 

i. Standardization of weighing scale in a participatory manner is needed through legal framework that defines standard measurements and mechanisms of protecting the uneducated farmers from being exploited. Build the capacity of the producers to claim their right. Moreover, providing weighing facility for the cooperatives contributes to realization of claiming the right. Awareness raising for traders and brokers on this is necessary.

 

ii. Brokers operate without license. As they do good in linking buyers and sellers, they also distort prices to make hidden margin from the deal. It is suggested to advocate for licensing the functions of brokers where they will be accountable for their actions. Building their capacity on how cooperation in value chain development is beneficiary and their role.

 

iii. Organize and capacitate producers to enhance their negotiation power and skill.

 

iv. Create value chain forum at different levels where the different value chain actors come together and discuss the problems of potato value chain and solve them. Processing Potato: processing facilities were non-existent in all the study areas. Introduction of potato varieties will increase the supply. Along this, it is important to introduce potato processing facilities that can induce consumption and also increase shelf life of the product. Involving the private sector in the enhancement of the processing of potato can result in sustainability of the intervention.

 

Consumption

 

i.      The demand for the product in the total consumption bundle of rural and urban consumers is small, the product fetches low price. The low consumption attributes to lack of knowledge to prepare different recipe and dishes. Therefore, promotion of sweet potato utilization through demonstration of different ways of utilizing sweet potato for food can induce higher demand by motivating the producers to produce more.

ii.      ii) At a household level, to create awareness on nutrition value of orange fleshed sweet potato varieties vs. white fleshed ones and different ways of processing sweet potato to make it part of household diet.

iii.       At a factory level, nearly no one is processing sweet potato for starch and alcohol which could be produced from sweet potato even to food complex industries

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Anandajayaseeram P. and Birhanu Gebremedhin. (2009). Integrating innovation systems perspective and value chain analysis in agricultural research for development: Implications and challenges. Improving Productivity and Market Success (IPMS) of Ethiopian Farmers Project Working Paper 16. ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute), Nairobi, Kenya. 67 pp.

Antonelli C. (2001). The microeconomics of technological systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Barnett A. (2008). Up-scaling knowledge and innovation for development. A paper presented at the IFPRI conference on advancing agriculture in developing countries through knowledge and innovation. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Boomgard J, Davies S, Haggblade S and Mead D. (1992). A subsector approach to small enterprise promotion and research. World Development 20(2):199–212.

Bezabih Emana and Mengistu Nigussie. (2011). Potato value chain analysis and development in Ethiopia: Case of Tigray and SNNP Region.

Clark NG. (2002). Innovation systems, technology assessment and the new knowledge market:  Implication for the third world development. Journal of the Economics of Innovation and New Technology11(4–5):353–368.

Elliot E. (2008). Evolution of systems thinking: Towards agricultural innovation systems. A paper presented at the IFPRI conference on advancing agriculture in developing countries through knowledge and innovation. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 7 April 2008.

Hall A, Mytelka L and Oyeyinka B. (2005). Innovation systems: Implications for agricultural policy and practice.ILCA Brief 2. ILCA (International Livestock Center for Africa), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Kaplinsky R. (2000). Globalization and unequalization: What can be learned from value chain analysis. Journal of Development Studies 37(2):117–146.

Kaplinsky R and Morris M. (2001). A handbook of value chain analysis. Working Paper prepared for the IDRC, Institute for Development Studies, Brighton, UK.

Morris M. (2001). “Creating Value Chain Co-operation”, in G. Gereffi and R. Kaplinsky (eds.), IDS Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 3.

Zerihun T. (2009). Role of orphan crops in enhancing and diversifying food production in Africa. In: African Orphan Crops: Their Significance and Prospects for Improvement Afr. Technol. Dev. Forum Jour. Vol. 6, Issue 3/2009.

 

 

Cite this Article: Getahun D, Elias U, Awole Z, Sadik M and Tesfaye A (2015). Sweet Potato Market Chain Analysis: The Case of SNNPR, Ethiopia. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 5(7): 240-264, http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2015.7.072513755.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDICES