Harvest and
Post-Harvest Activities​

Harvesting Seed Yam​
It is crucial for seed entrepreneurs to consider a number of factors for adequate planning for harvest and determination of the suitable number of production cycles.

Harvesting is the operation of gathering the useful parts of a crop when it is matured, and all nutrients are fully developed.​

Seed entrepreneurs should note that there is only one cycle of producing seed yam. Nevertheless, seed yam harvest can occur in more than one production cycle.

Factors to Consider in Harvest Planning​

  • Characteristics of the selected seed variety​
  • Type of seed being produced (e.g., foundation or certified seed)​
  • Form of seed being produced (e.g., yam vines, minitubers)​
  • Multiplication rate of seed​
  • Maturity duration of seed​
  • Resources available to seed entrepreneur (number of screenhouse, land, storage facilities, technical expertise, etc.)

Harvest Guidelines​
To ensure a successful harvest, seed entrepreneurs must follow specific guidelines discussed below:

Post-harvest Management​
Following a successful harvest, seed entrepreneurs need to carry out effective post-management activities for successful commercial seed yam operations.​​


Storage Methods for Seed Yam​
The seed entrepreneur may employ the following methods in storing harvested seed yam in an effective manner.

Storage Methods for Seed Yam​
The seed entrepreneur may employ the following methods in storing harvested seed yam in an effective manner:​

Photo Gallery

Traditional Yam Barn​

Open-sided Shelves Store



Ventilated Pit


Quality Determinants of Seed Yam​​
Seed entrepreneurs should desire to equip themselves with the capacity required to provide quality seed yam to customers​.

  • Varietal purity​
  • Weight​
  • Viability​
  • Productivity​
  • Cleanliness (free from pests and diseases)

Best Practices for Yam ​​

  • The optimum temperature range for growing yams is between 25 and 30 Celsius degree.​
  • It is essential for the farmer to know consumer needs and to cultivate the crop in a manner that will maintain the qualities of the selected variety.
  • Good land preparation is indispensable for seed yam cultivation.​
  • Selecting healthy seed tubers of the right variety (positive selection) is a critical decision for all producers. The seed tuber must be pest and disease-free, of the right variety, and of the correct physiological age.​
  • The use of yam minisett technique can increase the multiplication ratio of seed yam production in traditional systems from 1:3 to 1:30, and reduces the cost of seed yam production.​
  • Seed yam can be planted and mulched at the onset of the rainy season or when rains are well established.​
  • If planted early in the cropping season when rains are not yet stable, the field should be mulched to prevent the planted setts from desiccation. Mulching also improves soil fertility, protects against erosion and caking of the soil, and suppresses weeds.​
  • For production of average size seed tubers, the recommended spacing is 100 × 25 cm, giving a population of 40 000 plants/ha of sole crop.​
  • Staking reduces mutual shading of yam foliage thereby increasing the photosynthetic capacity of plants for better yields. Yams are staked when vines are about 1 m long using stakes of 1.5–2 m tall.​
  • For optimum growth and yield, ensure that the field is kept free of weeds as much as possible. At least one weeding during the first three months of planting is necessary.​
  • Harvesting should be done before the soil gets too dry, otherwise more effort will be required to dig out the tubers from the soil and more injury will be inflicted on the tubers.

Process Screen Complete:
End of Yam Entrepreneur Toolkit

Congrats on completing the Toolkit Yam Entrepreneur Toolkit.

We hope the three screens have helped you ideate, create, and review your yam business. We wish you success as you grow and improve your efforts.

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