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Sweet Potato Farming in Kenya: Sweetness Grows in Western Kenya

Sweet potatoes have been grown in Western Kenya for generations and the epicenter of the production has always been in the Kabondo area of Homa Bay County which at one time accounted for close to 60% of the sweet production in Kenya. In the recent years, a program by One Acre Fund which promotes the cultivation of the Orange Fleshed sweet potato varieties has seen the production of the crop increase tremendously in other areas such as Kitale in Trans Nzoia and in the greater Kakamega County.

The production was done on a subsistence basis for many decades and the crop served as an alternative or supplement to the staple maize and beans which are the most cultivated here. The commercialization of the crop began in earnest around 1990 when farmers and trades began selling the produce to the Ahero market in Kisumu County. A lot of the produce was sold in Kisumu while others were re-routed to the greater Nairobi market. The late 90s saw the opening of the Nairobi market and many farmers from Kabondo, Kakamega and Northern Tanzania began selling the produce directly to the Nairobi market or via middlemen. With the crop fetching higher prices in the Nairobi markets-formerly Gikomba, Marikiti and now Muthurwa markets-the sweet potato cultivation has grown more popular and now more acreage has been put into cultivation.

Consumption of sweet potatoes
Once a food for the rural folk and the poor people, sweet potato is quickly finding its way into the breakfast and dinner tables of many Kenyans of all classes. There are many reasons for this. The most obvious has been the rising cost of living.  Sweet potato is relatively cheap and serves as  a good substitute for bread, cakes and even Irish potatoes. The most common mode of cooking is through boiling or steaming but more families and hotels are coming up with more creative recipes which truly unearth the sweetness in the sweet potatoes.

Increased technology and access to great online sweet potato recipes has brought tremendous changes in how the sweet potatoes are prepared and eaten. Today you can have sweet potato crisps, chips, sweet potato baby food, canned sweet potatoes, frozen sweet potatoes and microwave-prepared potatoes.

Healthy Living with Sweet Potatoes
Another trend driving the demand for the sweet potatoes in Kenya is that towards healthy living. Sweet potatoes are very nutrient and are regarded as some of the best superfoods. This, coupled with the fact that they are grown through 100% organic farming methods make them a top choice for many looking for healthier dietary choices.

While they are good for the taste buds, the real benefits of the sweet potatoes are in your cardiovascular system. They are a rich source of the flavonoid anti-oxidants, vitamin A, dietary fibres and minerals. The consumption of sweet potatoes leads to an overall excellent health.

Some sweet potato varieties, particularly the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are an unsurpassed source for the beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes simply have a superior capability or efficiency in raising our blood Vitamin A levels tremendously. Sweet potato consumption, particularly in children, is sufficient to satisfy up to 90% of our blood Vitamin needs. Thee beta-carotene concentration in the sweet potatoes is considered amongst the highest amongst the root vegetables.

They serve as powerful anti-oxidants and help in other functions such as maintaining and enhancing visual acuity, maintaining the integrity of the mucus membranes, and help protect from you lung and the oral cavity cancers. Due to this superfood quality, sweet potatoes are also highly recommended for patients with HIV as it has a net positive effect on the body’s immune system. We have variously covered the nutritional effects of the sweet potatoes including their suitability for the diabetics in other section of this blog.

Interesting fact about sweet potatoes
The sweet potato leaves are more nutritious and have greater health benefits than sweet potato tubers. You can add them to your diets whenever you are cooking your sweet potatoes or as part of your daily intake of the green vegetables. Check out other parts of our blog for additional information on sweet potato recipes.

Take Advantage of Kabondo Farms Sweet Potato Market Referral Service to Sell Your Produce

Stuck with your sweet produce in your farm? Or looking to purchase sweet potatoes from reliable suppliers as quickly as possible? We now offer a sweet potato market referral and linkage service to help you sell your sweet potato produce within the shortest time possible. We have a database of buyers who want to purchase your sweet potatoes and farmers who want to sell their produce to the market so whatever your needs, our service makes things possible for you.

With over 15 years experience in the sweet potato farming business, Kabondo Farms understands the sweet potato business like no one else. We will help you grow your sweet potato farming business by offering you a constant access to reliable markets and fresh produce{for buyers}.

How the service works for farmers
-Contact us at 0717444786 or
-Tell us about the size of your produce and the date when you plan to harvest them.
-Pay a Referral Fee of Ksh.1000
-We will send you contact details of at least 3 top sweet potato buyers in Kenya. You can take it from there but if you need further help closing the deal with the contacts we provide, contact us for further assistance.

How the Service Works for Buyers
-Contact Us at 0717444786 or
-Inform of us of your purchase needs and we will deliver the sweet potatoes to your premises. Sweet potato traders looking for linkages to producers for constant supplies at good prices will pay a one-time referral charge of Ksh.2500 and we will CONSTANTLY link you to farmers looking for buyers.

Buy Sweet Potato Vines
A bag of sweet potato vines for planting costs Ksh.2500. These will be delivered to the nearest trading centre in your area. For additional information, give us call at 0717444786.

Farming Opportunity for Young Kenyans: Sweet Potatoes

Agriculture is going digital and cool as many Kenyan youth are embracing farming as a means of investment and capital accumulation. Agriculture has traditionally been considered a no-go zone for many uppity Kenyans who prefer white collar jobs to toiling in the farms like their parents or grandparents.  But several factors are driving the young educated Kenyan youth back to the farms. Many Kenyan youth are unemployed, underemployed or just looking for new ways to grow their wealth quickly.

While some young people now have more disposable income, they are clueless about where to pump their investments. With bank loan rates in Kenya now hovering at 19%, it helps to have a good investment strategy in agriculture that will eventually pay off. One of the most profitable sectors where young Kenyans can invest in and break even relatively quickly is that of sweet potato farming. Once a fringe industry, the sweet potato industry has witnessed a tremendous growth in the recent years as more consumers become aware of the crop's many health benefits. One of its most avid fans is Prince Charles who gets his sweet potatoes, rabuon, in the local dialect-directly from the farmers in Kabondo, Homa Bay County.

Sweet potato farming has a very a low bar for entry. With as little as Ksh.15,000, you can invest on an acre of the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes do not require fertilizers or any pesticides. You can plant the sweet potatoes as soon as you prepare the land and the highly profitable crop only takes about 5 months to mature. That means you can have two planting seasons in a year.  The crops can also be intercropped with maize and beans so as to increase your yield. 

There are numerous markets in Kenya where you can sell your sweet potatoes. These include hotels, restaurants, Gikomba market, Marikiti market, the Kisumu Oile Market, hospitals, supermarkets, export markets and many others. The price of a bag of sweet potato typically ranges from Ksh.2500 to Ksh.7000 depending on the seasons. With an investment of Ksh.15,000 per acre of sweet potatoes, you can earn anything between Ksh50,000 to Ksh.140,000 per acre depending on the season when the sweet potato is harvested.

For assistance on sweet potato farming in Kenya, contact Kabondo Farms on or call 0717444786. Based in Homa Bay County, the company provides a host of services to sweet potato farmers in Kenya.

These include:-

  •  Varieties of sweet potato vines that suitable for the Kenyan and the foreign markets.
  •  Land-leasing services in areas that are suitable for sweet potato farming
  •  local sweet potato marketing, sweet potato exporting and exporters’ information and sweet potato market surveys. At a small fee, we can now connect you to bulk sweet potato buyers in the Gikomba Market.
  •  Sweet potato farming and farm layout consultancy for new farmers.
  •  Sweet potato business plan preparations, market contacts and other useful information to help you market your sweet potato produce. 
 Get in touch with our team and let us get you started on a profitable sweet potato farming venture. There is sweetness in sweet potatoes,not only in the taste and the nutrients but also in the potential returns. We assist both beginners who are getting started on sweet potato farming in Kenya to experienced farmers looking for new ways to improve their yield and get access to new markets. If you are interested in sweet potato farming, we are your trusted productivity partner. Email us at or call 0717444786 and let us make 2014 a Productive Year.