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Giving seed-yams the credit they deserve

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses

Yam is a popular staple crop in West Africa, providing vital food and income. Even more important, it is a key element in the local culture. There is great demand for yams at all income levels, and this demand is expected to grow as populations rise. Yet planting and harvesting this crop involves a lot of work, making it relatively expensive to produce. Furthermore, yams need fertile soil, something that is often lacking in the marginal lands that are farmed by many smallholders. Pests and diseases are also a major problem: they push the costs of yam production up, seriously reduce yields and make good-quality planting material increasingly costly and hard to come by.

A small injection of much-needed credit and marketing support can help farmers in West Africa take advantage of vital solutions to the growing risks and high costs of yam production. This booklet outlines the importance of yams, problems in their production, and suggested solutions.