Sweet potato: Improving nutrition in West Africa

Expansion of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) markets in West Africa has improved availability of high yielding OFSP varieties. To advocate OFSP’s value for nutrition security and generate local demand, an International Potato Center-led project ‘Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato in West Africa through Diversified Markets’, has conducted 12 OFSP awareness campaigns and distributed almost 19,000 promotional materials since 2014 in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria. According to project manager, Erna Abidin, the work in these countries has helped combat Vitamin A deficiency, which causes blindness in up to 500,000 children a year. Incomes have also increased as a result of improved OFSP varieties, with farmers earning about €3,200 per ha.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.