Market potential for processed sweet potato products in Tanzania: a case of Coast, Mwanza and Shinyanga Regions

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Prices of sweet potato had drastically dropped due to its glut in the market during harvesting season. This lead to stumpy margin revenues to famers as compared to production costs. Hence solution to help farmers earn more is to add value to the produce in Tanzania. The objective of the study was to investigate and create awareness on the sweet potato processed products marketing potential in the smallholder production system. Specifically the study sought (i) to characterize and describe the sweet potato value chain (ii) to estimate market analysis for sweet potato processed products (iii) to analyse social economic factors affecting consumption of various processed sweet potato products and (iv) to analyses social economic factors influences farmer’s profitability. The study used cross-sectional research design combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches. It employed Regression analysis, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Market Potential Analysis, Profit Margin Analysis and Market Margin Analysis. The findings revealed that overall chain for sweet potato was characterized by low value addition, informal marketing system and poor coordination. Likewise, nutritional value and packaging were among a factor that influences the decision of consumers towards purchasing the products. Furthermore, results found that there was significant mean different in profit margin among actors in the chain at p < 0.01. Similarly, farmer’s profit margin was statistically significant different from the wholesaler’s profit margin at p < 0.01. The empirical data also suggested that variables included in the model explained about 64% of the variations in the dependent variable, hence farm gate price, occupation of the household and education level were statistically significant at p < 0.01. The industry still faces a number of developmental challenges, the most serious are chronic shortage of improved vines (33.1%), lack of capital (26.8%) and unpredicted weather (20.6%). Value addition approach is now a systematic focus of research and to support development of value chain for neglected crops like sweet potato. Hence, it is important to enforce of existing laws and regulations by creating enabling environment for the crop, to strengthen both vertical and horizontal coordination and build capacity to farmers in handling, preservation and processing.


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Sweet potato marketing, Tanzania, Smallholder famers, Sweet potato processed products, Sweet potato value chain, Socio economic factors