One of the advantages of sweet potato farming in Kenya is there is very little input required on your side and you are always guaranteed a harvest as long as the conditions are right. You don’t have to worry about spending heavily on buying fertilisers or pesticides.
However, not all farmers hit the potential. Remember that when you hit your potential when it comes to sweet potato production, the payout can be HUGE. The spoiler for most Kenyan farmers is venturing out into sweet potato production without sufficient information or experience in growing sweet potatoes. Small mistakes can be incredibly costly for you and you will see yourself losing a lot of money in the process.
When you deploy the best techniques and advice when it comes to sweet potato farming, your sweet potato yield per plant and per acre will increase considerably. Here are some good ways in which you can boost your sweet potato yield per acre in Kenya and plant your way to profitability:-
- Planting sweet potatoes on land where no sweet potatoes or root tubers have not been planted before or in a very long time: Multiple successive cycles of sweet potato crops are going to deplete the fertility of the soil and this will affect the yield of your sweet potato crop severely. You can plant sweet potatoes once per year and then rotate it with other crops such as maize, groundnuts etc.
- Do the land preparation during the dry seasons and let it settle: This will give time for most of the weeds to dry up and form organic matter on the land before the onset of the rains.
- Prepare the ridges or mounds for planting sweet potatoes just a few days before you begin your planting. When you prepare the mounds much earlier, the soil hardens and it is difficult for planters to penetrate deep into the soil and plant the vine or sweet potato stems. When the mounds are inserted deep into the soil, the sweet potato tubers will be formed deep in the soil without exposure to the sunlight, passing thieves, domestic animals or rodents. Long exposure of sweet potato tubers to sunlight will damage the crop and often leads to rot.
- Buy good quality vines: It is often advisable to secure the best quality sweet potato vines for planting from a reliable sweet potato supplier. The best sweet potato vines are those stems that are still young and vigorous. These are generally the vines that have been picked two to three months after planting.
- Ensure the sweet potato vines for replanting are free of pests and diseases: Good quality suppliers like us can assure you of clean and fresh vines for replanting that are free of diseases and pests due to our quality multiplication process.
- Planting the sweet potato vines just at the onset of rains: The advantage with this is that it allows for a very vigorous growth of the sweet potato vines and the formation lush foliage and tendrils. This will not only lead to a massive sweet potato yield plant but also larger sized sweet potatoes that increase your yield per acre.
- Weed your sweet potato plants after two months: Sweet potato plants are most vulnerable to the effect of weeds in the first two to two and a half months. After that, the massive foliage and tendrils will largely inhibit the weed growth. So it is advisable to carry out prompt and comprehensive weeding after 6 to 8 weeks. However, if there is still vigorous weed growth after the two month period, make sure that you get rid of them.
- Replant stunted or dried out vines: About two weeks or a month after planting, inspect your mounds or ridges for any signs of stunted or dried out vines and replant them with fresh and healthy vines.