We continue to publish exclusive materials from the WPC (World Potato Congress), telling about the organization of an efficient seed potato production chain in Africa.
The World Potato Congress will take place from May 31 to June 3 in Dublin, Ireland. The event will bring together professionals including potato growers, wholesalers, packers, importers and exporters of both seed and ware potatoes.
This week we're talking about marketing and value-adding potatoes in Ethiopia.
There are other seed producers in Yeldu, where Guta lives, but his farm is known to many as a source of quality seed potatoes.
Representatives of public organizations, NGOs (national and international), the private sector and individual farmers from different parts of the country come to buy seeds.
Initially, the Potato Center (CIP) recommends that buyers go to Yelda, as seed growers there comply with QDS requirements to produce quality seeds. Moreover, Holleta once advertised the seed potatoes of Guta and another farmer, Tesfaye, on the Solagrow website and in the most widely read newspaper, The Ethiopian Reporter.
Buyers began to give his address to others, and Guta himself collected the addresses of potential buyers and called them to let them know that he had seed potatoes for sale. As such, he has sold hundreds of tons of seed potatoes to non-governmental organizations, including World Vision, for their projects. Last year, he sold about 36 tons of Gudene seed potatoes to Dutch processor Senselet (meaning "chain" in Amharic, the main Ethiopian language). Guta hauls his market potatoes on his own trucks to major outdoor market horticultural stores in Addis Ababa. It carries out banking operations in three main ways: through transfers, checks and cash.
Guta also sells dairy products and equips farm infrastructure. His proposed school and hotel project will create many jobs for the local population, especially for young people.
Creating added value (packaging, proper storage, transportation)
Guta does not sell seed potatoes at harvest, but adds value by storing the tubers until they produce numerous, short, green and robust seedlings that do not break during transport and planting. Buyers know that seed potatoes with multiple sprouts yield more, and they don't hesitate to pay more. He has three trucks with a capacity of 35 tons, which allows him to deliver seed and ware potatoes, attracting more customers.