More than 35,000 farmers in Nyanza and Western Kenya are harvesting double yields per acre after adopting the high producing orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties from a research organization, International Potato Center (CIP).
Demand for the Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) is turning the food into a cash crop for the farmers in at least five counties as big retailers like Tuskys supermarket salivate for the for the produce for bread and cake baking.
CIP, which is targeting 35,000 farmers by 2018, is supplying planting materials to growers in Homa Bay, Siaya, Kisumu, Migori and Nyamira counties in its Scaling Up Sweetpotato Through Agriculture and Nutrition (SUSTAIN) programme.
In places like Kisii-a neighbor of Nyamira County, Food and Agriculture Organisation says one acre yields four tonnes or 10 tonnes per hectare of ordinary sweet potato.
CIP agronomist Sammy Agili says the five OFSP- Kabonde, Vita, SPK 004 and Ejumla- give an out-put of up to 7.2 tonnes per acre or 18 tonnes per hectare.