In spite of the importance of seed potatoes in determining the yield and characteristics of potatoes, the majority of potato farmers don’t have access to certified seed potatoes. The farmer seed system by which the farmer uses saved seed potatoes from the previous crop, seed potatoes from neighbors or from local markets (uncertified) provides seed potatoes of low quality, which serve as a drag on yields. This business model has been proposed to take advantage of the opportunity in certified potato seed production and sale in Kenya. There are few certified seed potato producers, whose capacity meets a maximum of 2% of the seed potato requirements of the sector in Kenya, for example. The trials showed that the use of certified seed potatoes positively affects yields. The proposed value chain linking farmers to producers of seed potatoes as shown in the figure. Basic seed potato developers can develop the required variety and quality of basic potato seeds together with local research institutes and or other institutions/companies.

This arrangement will require collaborations between basic seed potato developers, national seed potato multiplication organizations, and input service providers. It also requires cooperation with public agencies in charge of inspections, registration or licensing of certified seed potatoes. The value proposition of the business model of the certified seed potato producer to its customers as shown in the table. Its main aim is to increase smallholder productivity through the provision of certified seed potatoes of varieties suitable for processing into crisps and chips, as well as certified seed potatoes of their local variety (particularly the Shangi variety in Kenya). The key activities of the business will center on the multiplication of seed potato varieties, the production of certified seed potatoes of local varieties, and the sale of these seed potatoes to farmers. The targeted customers of the business include individual farmers, farmer associations, and processing companies with out-grower schemes.

These customer segments also represent the anticipated revenue streams of the business. Hence all expected revenues will come from sales of the certified seed potatoes. The major cost items will include seed potato multiplication and storage facilities, labor, transportation or distribution, and depreciation of assets.

Certified Seed Potato Production