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Sweet potato is one of the neglected African crops, yet it has a huge potential to address food insecurity and help improve livelihoods in the continent. Among other challenges, farmers are faced with the lack of clean seed varieties and are often forced to recycle disease-prone and low-yield seeds obtained through an informal system.
Fortunately, a project involving researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, and Bio-resource Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate Africa) has conducted research and produced better varieties that yield more and are testing a model seed system that involves the university’s small amounts of these planting materials, which are then passed on to entrepreneurial famers for multiplication.
The selected farmers bulk the seed further in controlled conditions and sell it to fellow farmers in the neighbourhood. The system seems to be working well at this pilot stage, as one enterprising farmer cannot meet local demand has dramatically transformed his living standards.
This film was paid for by Bio-Innovate. Bio-Innovate is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
This multimedia has been produced by SciDev.Net's Sub-Saharan Africa desk.