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Selection of Simple Sequence Repeat Markers Associated with Inheritance of Sweetpotato Virus Disease Resistance in Sweetpotato

Sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD), a complex of Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV; Crinivirus) and Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV; Potyvirus) causes high yield losses in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The development of resistant cultivars to SPVD has been limited by the complex sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. var. batatas] genetics and high levels of mutations in the causal viruses. The objectives of this study were to understand the inheritance of SPVD resistance and identify simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers associated
with its resistance in a biparental sweetpotato mapping population. A total of 287 progeny and parents of the ‘New Kawogo’  ‘Beauregard’ population were genotyped with 250 SSR markers and phenotyped for SPVD resistance
at three sites and two seasons in Uganda. The broad-sense heritability for SPVD resistance was 0.51. Two progeny showed positive transgressive segregation for overall genotype mean SPVD severity across sites and seasons. A total
of seven SSR markers were significantly associated with SPVD resistance in this population. These markers and other SSRs need to be used to fine map the quantitative trait loci (QTL) of SPVD resistance for future implementation of marker-assisted selection (MAS) for SPVD resistance in sweetpotato.

Training of trainers at Sokoine University of Agriculture

This brochure is about a training of trainers (ToT) which Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), in partnership with Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI-Kibaha) and the Building Nutritious Food Baskets (BNFB) will be conducting. The ToT course is designed to provide the participants with the skills and knowledge to train others on “Everything you ever wanted to know about sweetpotato. The ToT course will take place between 8th and 19th of May 2017 at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro Tanzania.

DQA Data Collection Tool

The DQA Data Collection Tool presents a Data Verification and System Assessment tool with – 1. Data Verifications; recounting reported results, and, reporting performance 2. System assessment; I – M&E capacities roles and responsibilities, training, indicator definitions, data reporting requirements, data-collection and reporting forms and tools, data management processes and data quality controls, and a data reporting system. in the form of detailed questions.

DVM Mapping and Monitoring Tool

One of the strategies employed to improve access to clean planting OFSP vines is through establishment of multipliers closest to farmers. These multipliers, often referred to as Decentralized Vine Multipliers (DVMs) receive training on sweetpotato agronomy and other important aspects of OFSP production and dissemination. The DVMs are then expected to pass on this information to farmers obtaining OFSP vines from their farms. Many OFSP promotion projects setup their DVMs so that they have ready OFSP vines by the start of the planting season for dissemination to farmers.

Examples of two monitoring tools used in the management of DVMs are described below. These are the DVM registration and DVM monitoring forms. These tools are only available in Open Data Kit (ODK) compatible format. ODK is an open source suite of technologies that enables users to build data collection forms, collect data using Android mobile devices and send it to a server via the internet.

Sweetpotato Vine Dissemination Form

This tool is for monitoring the dissemination of sweetpotato planting materials from a mass multiplication process. The tool is suitable for monitoring the dissemination of sweetpotato planting material from a voucher system, and includes details of who received the planting material vouchers, telephone contacts and whether the vines were labelled or not. 

Farmers experiences in promoting sweetpotato production and productivity in Uganda: A case of Soroti Sweetpotato Producers and Processors Association (SOSPPA)

Soroti Sweetpotato Producers and Processors Association (SOSPPA) is community farmer-based initiative. Registered in 2006 as with the objective of integrating farmer training and commercial production vines and roots, and processing. It evolved from Abuket farmer facilitator association which was formed in 2004 by the sweetpotato farmer field school graduates with objective of promoting farmer to farmer training. SOSPPA is composed of members from 13 graduate Sweetpotato ICM FFS with adaptors. Elected executive committee serves a period of 3 years during the general assembly of representative members from the different FFS. Working committees include: training and publicity, production, processing/value addition, savings and credit, and marketing.

Module 7: Frequency of Consumption of Vitamin A Rich Foods

Micronutrient malnutrition, the lack of vitamin A in particular, is one of the major public health problems in less developed countries. It can lead to blindness and death in children under five years of age. Globally, an estimated 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient, of which about 250,000 children become blind every year. As a consequence, half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight. About 25% of mortality rates among young children can be reduced by correcting vitamin A deficiency at the community level (Beaton et al., 1993).

There is increasing demand from researchers, donors, and governments to assess the risk vitamin A deficiency at individual, household, and community level; which is mainly driven by the importance of understanding the existing vitamin A deficiency (VAD) level an as well as plan implementation programs to reduce it. The conventional methods used to assess vitamin A deficiency include xerophthalmia (eye damage) prevalence, dietary assessment, and biochemical analyses of serum retinol or retinol binding protein. However, these techniques require specialized skills and resources. Vitamin A intakes are best assessed through consumption studies where either all foods consumed are weighed before eating, or using recall methods of foods consumed, usually during the past 24 hours. Clearly, assessing both VAD status and vitamin A intakes is expensive and often beyond the scope of nutrition interventions that are trying to go-to-scale. Helen Keller International invested in developing a semi-quantitative, food frequency method that looked at the frequency of intake of vitamin A rich foods and validated these results against serum retinol values (Rosen et al., 1993). This method is used to assess whether a given population is at risk of VAD. It can also help monitor which vitamin A foods, such as OFSP, are coming into the diet by season and over time.

Subsequently, the 24-VASQ method was developed for estimating vitamin A intake of populations in a simpler way than 24 hour recall of all foods consumed (dee Pee et al., 2006). It can be used in large surveys and surveillance systems to quantify vitamin A intake of specific population groups, monitor changes in intake through time, compare intake among populations, identify the contribution of four different food groups – vegetables, fruits, animal foods and fortified foods – to vitamin A intake and identify populations at risk of vitamin A deficiency. However, it is also too time consuming to serve as a quick, low cost monitoring tool.

Final Report of the VITAA Platform Meeting Held in Nairobi- January 2013

One of the key debates within the stakeholders in this workshop was the scope and focus of a new platform. Like RAC, the previous VITAA platform grew from the activities that had started up around breeding staple crops of choice to increase micronutrient levels that could increase blood serum micronutrient levels when cooked, processed and eaten. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) has been the flagship of this food based ‘ biofortification’ approach.

The RAC ‘ project’ has evolved from OFSP projects (SPHI, SASHA) – inititaed by CIP (The International Potato Centre). RAC is being implemented in partnership with Helen Keller International. One of its core objectives is to create awareness and raise resources to increase sustainable investment across the whole value chain on embedding OFSP as a key nutritious staple crop in Africa.

The Vitamin A for Africa Platform focused on OFSP and as such, even though the name was generic, it inherently distinguished itself from capsule supplementation and fortified processed food programmes to combat Vitamin A deficiency. Harvest Plus is also working on bio-fortified (with Vitamin A) maize and cassava as well as other micronutrients in other crops.

So while in practical reality RAC evolved from the specificity and evidence base of OFSP as a specific successful example of bio- fortification, regional and national level stakeholders at this workshop strongly expressed the opinion that the platform needed to be advocating on a broader base. This could be from including other Vitamin A fortified crops such as Maize and Cassava, to a generic bio-fortified crops (covering other micronutrients) as a food based approach (with OFSP as the lead example) where the danger is the focus becoming too broad to actually achieve impact within the current resources and time frames.

A Situation Analysis of Nutrition And Food Security Policies Among Regional and Sub-regional Organizations In Sub-saharan Africa

The Reaching Agents of Change (RAC) project started in June 2011, and is being implemented by the International Potato Center (CIP), with Helen Keller International (HKI) as a major partner. RAC is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

RAC has three key goals:

  1. Mobilization of at least $18 million to orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) dissemination programs in five target countries (Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso);
  2. Substantial progress by a cadre of trained African advocates in ensuring that the use of OFSP is an integral part of strategies that address food insecurity and micronutrient malnutrition at regional and sub-regional levels in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as well as in the five RAC target countries; and
  3. Establishment of technical capacity for successful OFSP project implementation and continued awareness raising, resource mobilization, and change agent training efforts to continue once the project has ended.

This Situation Analysis is a tool for the African advocates working on RAC’s second key goal. The orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) advocates will be working with regional and sub-regional organizations to ensure that OFSP is included in their food security, nutrition and micronutrient strategies. As such, this document identifies 16 regional/sub-regional organizations and 7 international organizations and initiatives that are potential partners for promoting OFSP.