Strengthening linkages between small actors and buyers in
the Roots and Tubers sector in Africa

Sustainable market-led production intensification

In Africa, the production of roots and tubers has increased dramatically in recent years, but growth has been mainly due to increases in areas harvested. Yields remain far below potential. One of the main factors is the limited use of high quality seeds and planting material and the near absence of an efficient and responsive seed system.

The project contributes to sustainably increasing market-led production through a combination of developing seed system strategies and farmer training .


  • Assessing the status of existing inputs, technologies and agronomic practices that underpin roots and tubers cropping systems.
  • Focusing on problems related to the management of seed systems through sharing of various experiences to promote sustainable seed supply in the roots and tubers sector. Developing strategies in collaboration with local research institutes and agrodealer networks to sustainably increase access to high-yield quality seeds and planting material.
  • Implementing a Farmer Field School programme with the farmer groups selected under the Inclusive Business Model approach. Training farmers on adoption of environmentally sound agronomic practices, input use-efficiency, natural resource management and control of biotic stress agents.

Examples from project countries

The project will organize a regional workshop on potato seed systems to identify best practices to increase private sector involvement in seed production and distribution.

For the five countries focusing on cassava, the project will organize a workshop to exchange lessons and learn from countries with a functional seed system in the cassava sector.

In Uganda and Rwanda, the FFS programme will include positive selection techniques and storage of potato. Farmer groups will be linked to local seed producers that are supported through training on seed production. In Uganda, the project will work with the International Potato Centre (CIP) to provide training to National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) staff on the development and dissemination of disease-free planting material.

In Malawi, the FFS programme will respond to buyers’ demands regarding varieties and production schedule and include rapid multiplication techniques of clean planting material.