Assessing the Differential Value of Improved Yam Varieties
The identification of yam varieties that add differential value for farmers is central to the business case for seed yam production. If a variety is unable to consistently demonstrate higher yields and better marketability than farmers’ preferred varieties, then their willingness to pay for your seed product will be low.
If you are just starting the variety evaluation process, the first step is to develop a “wish list” of yam attributes, which can provide a useful framework for comparing and prioritizing among yam varieties.
Visit these links to view the list of registered improved yam varieties in your country: Nigeria and Ghana.
Example wish list of yam traits and characterization matrix
Below is an example of a “wish list” used by Wazobia that can be adapted to your target market.
Source: Asrat Amele, Senior Scientist, IITA Africa Yam Project
To prioritize among three improved yam varieties, Wazobia worked with breeders, researchers, and parental seed suppliers1 to design and execute demand creation trials (DCTs) with 60 farmers across two states.
In addition to picking up qualitative insights on the varieties, Wazobia’s field team asked farmers to rate their performance against the dominant, locally preferred variety along ‘Wish List’ attributes. Here is an example of the comparative analysis that this enabled.
The improved varieties beat the check variety on marketability, yield, and disease tolerance.
Among the improved varieties, Variety 2 beat the check variety by the biggest margin.
(1) Partnering with breeders, researchers, and parental seed suppliers to design and execute DCTs can reduce the cost and complexity of implementation. Specific points of collaboration include varietal prioritization, DCT design, site selection, parental seed access, site monitoring, farmer extension, data collection & analysis, field day planning, and marketing strategy.
Next SEction: Demand Creation TrIals
In the next section, you will learn more about Demand Creation Trials (DCTs). DCTs will enable you to make more informed varietal prioritization, product positioning, and marketing strategy decisions.