Yam is a cultural and most valued in Africa. A formal seed system deploying new technologies will be developed through cluster management.

Photo of Joseph Odusanya
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 500 - 1,000

Organization type

  • For-profit

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Nigeria

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Cities in FCT, Nassarawa, Kano, Kaduna, Wukari, initially and sprad all over all the sities in Nigeria in three years.


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Yam economy is worth $13B (FAO, 2014). With such a high economic value, yam still lacks a formal seed system, and farmers still continue to use farmer saved seeds, which unfortunately carry the disease burden, leading to an unfortunate loss of valuable varieties and leading to non-acceptance in the international market. There is a new wave of encouraging farmers to adopt best practices, leading to the evolution of a formal seed system for yam. Yields are predictable and industrial utilization could evolve.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

A hub as proposed, spreads value as it reduces the cost and time involved in systemic change and the initial establishment of an agricultural crop value chain. Waste products are going to be reduced and new and more specialised enterprises will spring up from the waste of yam economics such that development actually happens within the country because of the uniqueness of this effort. Our catalyst Seed Yam Biofactory Project is about the best way to ensure that these market failures and observed imperfections in the yam crop value chain are addressed because the concept of the hub relies on concentric circles.Our catalyst project creates a hub which gives visibility to all sections of the value chain, defines their roles and provides goods and services to each other in a way that is sustainable and reliable.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

To start with, Yams are now being grown from vines and rather than distribute disease riddled seeds, healthy seedlings sre bing promoted. We have successfully grown yams from vines at BIOCROPS as the pioneer seed company in Nigeria to do so, using aeroponics technology. We can potentially produce enough clean vines to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria. Our biofertilisers provide chaper and readily available alternatives to rural farmers in Nigeria that were hitherto marginalised.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

1. Earned Income -40% 2. Directors funds-40% 3. Bank loans-15% 4. Grants-5% The project is considering a major Bank loan in 2018 and antitipates grants in the range of at least $1m

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Yam business will become formalised and simplified that entry barriers will fall. This attracts more finance, innovation, science and participation from all because it is leveraging on the cultural players and the people who use yam as a food or ceremonial crop. The hub has legs in Bayero University, Kano and Wukari University, so designed to quickly spread the model nationwide and encourage adaptation. Biofertilizer production and addition of value to young people especially womenis another

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

1Executive Summary* Taking advantage of its strong partnership with IITA, BUK-CDA and commercial seed companies, Biocrops is applying to become an innovation hub in Biofactory development for the production of seeds, seedlings and inoculants. These efforts would be driven by technologies such as Plant Tissue Culture (TC), Temporary Immersion Bioreactor (TIB), Aeroponics Technology (AT), Semi-Autothropic Hydroponics (SAH), Macropopagation Technology, Hydroponics and large scale fermentation among others. All these technologies are available at our biofactory in Utako, Abuja. These deployed technologies are not available currently in most of our education sectors. This application would lead to the formation of Biofactories in BUK-CDA for biofertilizer, forage crops and yams. The need to create growth and opportunities in rural economy in Nigeria propelled us to act

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Nestlé page or contact


Join the conversation:


Hi Joseph In Mexico there are no yam plantations, it is a very interesting crop, I have consumed it and I hope in the future to integrate it into the project and develop products. Mona Lisa's comment is true, your project is very important to prevent problems that usually arise in countries, which mentions about Colocasia esculenta (Chinese Taro) step also in Dominican Republic from 2000 to 2010 about 5000 hectares became ill and production disleaded. In Costa Rica and Cuba they must have jobs that may be useful on the propagation of yams. Greetings to all and to succeed. Marcela Solis

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