Government recognition that biofortified OFSP can be promoted to reduce the country’s high VAD rate
Dr Maria Andrade has spearheaded CIPs work in Southern Africa and the Government of Mozambique has officially recognized that biofortified OFSP can be promoted to reduce the country’s high VAD rate. OFSP is now well known as a key crop for food and nutrition security in Mozambique, and a ‘business card’ for the bio-fortification work in Africa. After several interventions under El Nino and La Nina emergencies in Mozambique, sweetpotato has also been recognized as one of the most important crops for disaster relief and recovery. OFSP has become an essential food security crop known by the popular slogan, “the sweet that gives health.”
Convinced by previous results, USAID provided funds in 2012 to disseminate vines of the new varieties to 120,000 households in the major sweetpotato-producing areas of the country. Before the program about 20% of the families were growing any type of sweetpotato. After 24 months, 70% of households were growing on average 400 m2 of OFSP. By 2013, an estimated 26% of all sweetpotato grown in Mozambique was OFSP.
Marketing strategies involving food based approaches initiated in 2000 in Mozambique expanded to 14 countries in Africa. More than 3,000 promotional events were carried out so far. Since 2001 more than 1 million households have received improved high yielding OFSP planting materials. Since 2009, 15 improved drought-tolerant varieties were released and over 500,000 households in Mozambique are now growing OFSP. OFSP now comprises 32% of all sweetpotato production in the country. Roughly 55% of the household members who received the drought tolerant planting material were women. More than 300 Training-the-Trainer workshops were conducted and more than 1 million farmers trained in sweetpotato production and protection. Using a new accelerated breeding method, 4 additional drought-tolerant OFSP varieties were released in early 2016.
For more information: about the International Potato Centers work in sub-Saharan Africa and around the world please visit the links below.
CIP staff collaborated to produce the text for this story. Compiled by: Sara Quinn, Regional Communications Specialist, International Potato Center.
Cover picture: A mother and child prepare orange fleshed sweetpotato for taste testing in rural Malawi as part of the DFID funded Scaling up Sweetpotato through Agriculture and Nutrition (SUSTAIN) project