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Advances in Agriculture
Volume 2017, Article ID 8767340, 14 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8767340
Research Article

Sweet Potato Value Chain Analysis Reveals Opportunities for Increased Income and Food Security in Northern Ghana

1Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 46, Bawku, Ghana

Correspondence should be addressed to Issah Sugri; moc.liamg@22irgusi

Received 29 July 2017; Accepted 4 October 2017; Published 2 November 2017

Academic Editor: Innocenzo Muzzalupo

Copyright © 2017 Issah Sugri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sweet potato has gained prominence due to its ability to adapt to wide production ecologies and yield response to minimal external inputs. Orange-fleshed cultivars in particular have immense potential to improve household income and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the sweet potato value chain (SPVC) is not well-developed in many producing countries. The study was conducted in two regions to characterize the production operations as well as identify opportunities to propel the SPVC in Northern Ghana. Data were collected using mixed methods including structured questionnaires via face-to-face interviews. Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) was conducted at multistakeholder platforms with different actors. Gross margin profit and benefit-cost ratios were determined by using six cost variables. Overall, the industry was largely a fresh produce market, targeting food vendors, processors, and direct selling to wholesalers, retailers, and household consumers. The SWOT analysis revealed wide-ranging opportunities including favourable production ecologies, processing options, and insatiable local and international markets. The institutional actors need to network the primary actors to synergistically operate with a collective profit motive. The most prioritized production constraints such as access to seed, cost of chemical fertilizer, short shelf-life, field pests and diseases, and declining soil fertility should be addressed.