The objective of this study is to examine the profitability and channels of distribution of sweet potato in Sierra Leone. Multistage sampling was used to select 150 sweet potato marketers from five major districts. Data was collected on socio-economics characteristics, distribution channels, market margins and net income, drivers and barriers of sweet potato marketers with aid of android devices programme with the Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro. 6.3) software package. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Sweet potato trading investment has a net positive return. After calculating the benefit-cost ratio (BCR), the BCR of sweet potato root trading in each of the districts was greater than one (BCR>1), which indicates that, sweet potato roots trading business is profitable. The revenue generated in the sale of one (1) bag of sweet potato is high. That is, an average of 20% profit is realised from the 1 bag (50 kg) that is bought and sold and the highest profit was realised in Bombali district. Therefore, sweet potato trading is a profitable and a lucrative business venture in Sierra Leone that is worth investing. Lack of credit facilities, inadequate initial capital and high transportation costs were identified as the major factors militating against sweet potato marketing in the study area. The study therefore recommended, the government as well as non-governmental agencies should organise the marketers into groups and empower the marketers through the provision of micro credit facilities to increase the initial capital and hence expand in trading of sweet potato roots.
Key words: Distribution channels, drivers and barriers, marketing margin and net profit, sweet potato.
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