Open Access Potential of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes for raising vitamin A intake in Africa

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Abstract:

The potential to use orange-fleshed (β-carotene-rich) sweet potatoes as an effective entry point for improving vitamin A and caloric intake in sub-Saharan Africa appears to be high, since non-orange-fleshed cultivars are widely grown throughout the continent, easy to raise, and typically under women's control. The paper describes the collaborative effort of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), and CARE to promote adoption of early-maturing orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in a two-year research-intervention pilot project. A community-based approach was undertaken, whereby group members actively participated in the research process, developing nutrient-rich processed products (weaning and adult foods) that combined the introduced germplasm with locally available foods. The results suggest that improving women's access to resources (particularly to productivity-enhancing technologies and to knowledge) and utilizing crops under their control are essential features for demonstrating positive nutritional and adoption outcomes within a relatively short time. Findings comparing control and intervention groups indicate that an “enhanced extension package,” emphasizing improved child-feeding practices and introducing new food-processing techniques, in addition to providing higher-yielding varieties, is essential to ensure that the introduced varieties are incorporated into the diets of young children.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106
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