Sweetpotato Case Study

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Sweetpotato (Ipomea batatas) is considered a staple crop in many considerable parts of Africa. According to FAOSTAT (2013), sweet potato has been considered as the seventh important food crop in the world. Agriculture has become more market oriented and sweetpotato is one of the many crops that help farmers obtain income and subsistence food security (Wheatly and Loechl, 2008). Sweetpotato are mainly eaten as staple food, consumed directly from the farm in a subsistence economy across the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The roots are consumed usually steamed, boiled or mashed and roasted, while the vines are eaten as vegetables in various places. Sweetpotato is increasingly being recognized in the improvement of food security, health and livelihoods…show more content…
The flesh color is responsible for the large amounts of anthocyanin, dietary fiber, folic acid, ascorbic acid, total phenolic, minerals and beta-carotene (ILSI, 2008). This makes sweetpotato a large potential contributor to human diets in the whole world. One of the serious health and nutritional problems affecting the SSA is vitamin A deficiency (VAD) (Yunusa et al., 2015). Many children under the age of 5 in SSA suffer partial or total blindness which is caused by VAD (Yunusa et al., 2015). To combat VAD in SSA, organizations like International Potato center (CIP) are developing alternative options which basically involve enhancing the food based strategies that are aimed at improving peoples diet through foods that are rich in β-carotene (Tumwegamire et al., 2004). OFSP varieties have very high levels of β-carotene in the roots. CIP tested some varieties of OFSP that yielded up to 8000µg/100g β-carotene of the roots on fresh weight basis (Tumwegamire et al., 2004).OFSP are sufficient in reducing VAD mostly across the SSA. OFSP are cheap sources of vitamin A to the urban and rural poor families (Tumwegamire et al., 2004) since they cannot afford the expensive vitamin A rich foods which include milk, eggs, butter and fish oils. SSA is already being involved in growing OFSP which has been part of the diets in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda (Oloo et al.,

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