Refinements to sweetpotato market segmentation

  • From
    CGIAR Initiative on Market Intelligence
  • Published on
    18.03.24

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(photo: Mike Licht NotionsCapital.com)
Diego Naziri, Reuben Saali, Agnes Gitonga

The identification and systematic application of criteria for identifying seed product market segments (SPMSs) across all crops included in the CGIAR crop breeding portfolio (see Market Intelligence Brief #1) is a game changer for supporting new discussions on the prioritization of the breeding pipelines, assessing their impact opportunities, and, ultimately, enhancing the market responsiveness and return on investment of the breeding effort.

A consultative process by the CGIAR Initiative on Market Intelligence, the International Potato Center (CIP), and national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) identified an opportunity to refine the initial SPMS for sweetpotato. The initial market segmentation effort focused on identifying market segments aligned with existing breeding pipelines—in other words, segments that CIP and partners are already breeding for. Given resource and time pressures, this was an important step ahead to support new conversations on product design and investment opportunities across pipelines. However, such a focus left questions about the current and future opportunities for sweetpotato breeding and seed systems investments for other segments that fall outside the scope of current investments.

Between January and November 2023, a multidisciplinary CIP team identified several segments not aligned with CIP breeding pipelines. These included both segments in CGIAR subregion regions that were already included in the initial segmentation as well as segments in subregions that exist but were not included in the SPMS Database.

The former led to the following additions:

  • Five new segments in Latin America that recognize variations in flesh color (white and purple in addition to the original orange) and production environment (humid tropical Amazon in addition to the original drought-prone environment)
  • Two new segments in Southern Asia that recognize flesh color: white and purple
  • Three new segments in South-eastern Asia that recognize flesh colors: white, yellow, and orange

The latter entailed adding segments for a major producing subregion, Central Africa, which despite having more than 400,000 ha under sweetpotato, is not currently targeted by CIP breeding.

Furthermore, following the adoption of the UN M49 standard for country classification, two additional changes were recommended. First, the Eastern African subregion was split into two production environments: high virus (SPVD) pressure environment and drought- and heat-prone environment (the latter to capture several important producing countries previously classified in Southern Africa, such as Mozambique and Madagascar). Second, to replace the Central and Western Asia and Northern Africa (CWANA) region and focus only on Northern Africa, since CWANA is not considered a subregion in UN M49 while sweetpotato production in both Central and Western Asia is negligible (total less than 2,500 ha).

Overall, this exercise expanded the number of market segments for sweetpotato, from 14 to 32. The revised market segmentation is presented in Table 1 and will be soon made available in the Global Market Intelligence Platform (GloMIP). The next steps will involve description of identified market segments by gathering information on the area under crop and the value and volume per market segment. Discussions will follow to coordinate efforts on the design of the new target product profiles (TPPs) that describe the ideal product for the new market segments identified.

Table 1. Revised sweetpotato market segments based on the eight market segmentation criteria, global

Crop Hybrid (Y/N) Subregion End use Color Production Environment Production system Maturity
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table White flesh High virus (SPVD) pressure  Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table Purple flesh High virus (SPVD) pressure  Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh High virus (SPVD) pressure  Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table White flesh Drought- and heat-prone  Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table Purple flesh Drought- and heat-prone  Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Eastern Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh Drought- and heat-prone  Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Southern Africa Food-table White flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Southern Africa Food-table Purple flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Southern Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Central Africa Food-table White flesh High virus (SPVD) pressure  Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Central Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh High virus (SPVD) pressure  Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Western Africa Food-table  White flesh Drought-prone Savanna and Sahel Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Western Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh Drought-prone Savanna and Sahel Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Western Africa Food-table  White flesh Tropical zones Rainfed Late
Sweetpotato N Western Africa Food-table biofortified Orange flesh Tropical zones Rainfed Late
Sweetpotato N Northern Africa Food-table  White flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone lowlands Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N Northern Africa Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone lowlands Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N Northern Africa Food-table  White flesh Mid and highlands Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Northern Africa Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Mid and highlands Rainfed Mid
Sweetpotato N Southern Asia Food-table  White flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N Southern Asia Food-table  Purple flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N Southern Asia Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Drought-, heat-, and salinity-prone  Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N South-eastern Asia Food-table  White flesh Tropical mega deltas Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N South-eastern Asia Food-table  Yellow flesh Tropical mega deltas Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N South-eastern Asia Food-table  Purple flesh Tropical mega deltas Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N South-eastern Asia Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Tropical mega deltas Irrigated Early
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table  White flesh Drought-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table  Purple flesh Drought-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Drought-prone  Irrigated/ Rainfed Early
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table  White flesh Humid tropical Amazon Rainfed Late
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table  Purple flesh Humid tropical Amazon Rainfed Late
Sweetpotato N Latin America Food-table biofortified  Orange flesh Humid tropical Amazon Rainfed Late

 

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