Many efforts have been recently made in Mozambique to disseminate orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), an efficacious and effective source of pro-vitamin A. It has been demonstrated that the consumption of OFSP during the harvesting period can reduce vitamin A deficiency (VAD) by 15% when it is introduced alongside an effort to create demand and engage in nutrition education at the community level. However, little is known about the effect that widespread adoption of OFSP can produce in the overall agricultural system. This paper analyzes the effect that growing OFSP has on the Mozambican agricultural system, paying attention to potential impacts on farm income and household food security among smallholder farmers. An ex-ante analysis of the introduction of OFSP within representative multi-enterprise farms of Mozambique is presented using an optimization model. Drawing on information obtained from 84 smallholder farmers in Central Mozambique through 4 visits over the course of 1 year, the model analyzes the adoption and consumption of this nutritious crop under different scenarios and evaluates the effect produced on farm revenues, returns to production inputs and the status of household food security, including the intake of nutritious crops. Results show that under current conditions, smallholder farmers holding less than 1 ha of land would not adopt OFSP unless they get the planting material for free. Having to purchase vines in these settings, would result in less than desired consumption of this pro-vitamin A rich food. On the other hand, medium scale farmers holding between 3 and 5 hectares of land could pay for their initial OFSP planting material and would see an increase in farm revenues and the returns to land and labor. These farmers would also increase the consumption of pro-vitamin A rich sweetpotato, which also serves as an alternative source of energy to cassava, maize, and rice – the other carbohydrate sources in the province
HOW TO CITE
Labarta, R. A 2014. The Introduction of Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato on the Agricultural Farming System of Central Mozambique: The Opportunity Cost of Growing This Nutritious Crop. International Potato Center (CIP). 14pp.