Sweet Potato Farming In Kenya

This article focuses on sweet potato farming in Kenya. Sweet potato farming is a very profitable agribusiness venture in Kenya. Sweet potatoes are widely consumed in the country. As a farmer, you will never lack a market for your produce.

Varieties of Sweet Potatoes Grown In Kenya

  • Kemb 23
  • SPK 004
  • Kemb 10
  • Ksp 20
  • CIP selection
  • Naspato
  • Tainain
  • Kemp 36

Ecological Conditions for Growing Sweet Potatoes

  • Annual rainfall of 750- 1000mm.
  • Altitude of 2100m above sea level.
  • Temperature above 24°c.
  • Well-drained sandy loam soils with a pH of 5.6-6.6.

Propagation and Planting

Sweet potatoes can be propagated by vine cuttings or the use of storage roots. In most cases, sweet potato is grown on mounds, ridges or flat seedbeds.

The best method of propagation is by vine cuttings. This is because the vine cuttings are known to be disease resistant and produce higher yields compared to storage roots.

The best size for the vines to be planted is between 25-30 cm.

Planting methods

There are two main planting methods that can be used to grow sweet potatoes. This includes;

(i). Planting on mounds

This involves;

  • Planting a cluster of vines, about 4-6 vines in one spot on the mound.
  • Planting 3-4 vines in a single stand on the mound. The distance between the vines needs to be the same.
  • Planting 2 vines on each stand on the mound.

(ii). Planting on ridges

This involves;

  • Planting a single row of Sweet potatoes in the middle of a ridge. Spacing between the plants should be 30cm.
  • Planting double rows of sweet potato plants on opposite sides of the ridges. Spacing is 30cm between the plants and about 50-60cm between rows.

Fertiliser Application

Sweet potato plants don’t require fertilisers to grow. However, if the soil structure of the planting field is poor, you can use farm manure or organic manure.


Sweet potatoes are ready for harvesting 3-6 months after planting depending on the variety grown and ecological factors.

Harvesting can be done in two ways. The first way is harvesting the sweet potato leaves after about 2 months of planting. The leaves are used as vegetables.

The second way is tuber harvesting. The tubers mature after about 3-6 months.

The estimated yield per hectare is 10-20 tons.

Sweet Potato Market In Kenya

Sweet potatoes in Kenya are mainly grown for local consumption. They are mainly sold in the local markets from as low as Kshs 50. A bag of sweet potatoes goes for Kshs 3,500. This may vary depending on the level of demand.

Worth Check Out:

Zack Abuyeka

I am the third eye.My duty is to keep you updated of the current trends and events happening round the globe.