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Annual Progress Report-2011

The Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) is a five-year project that serves as the foundation for the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) launched on 26 October 2009. SPHI aims to reduce child malnutrition and improve smallholder crop incomes in 10 million African families by 2020 through the effective production and expanded use of sweetpotato. SASHA seeks to directly improve the food security of at least 155,000 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) families by exploiting the untapped potential of sweetpotato and to create the conditions for going to scale. This requires (1) transforming sweetpotato breeding, (2) developing innovative seed systems, (3) strengthening partners’ capacities, and (4) understanding how to link these components to market and food-based nutritional interventions while assuring gender equity. The project focuses on research supporting development outcomes coordinated through three sub-regional sweetpotato support platforms (SSP). Sweetpotato’s image will be transformed from a poor person’s crop to a healthy food preferred by all. The project comprises five program areas to achieve its objectives. In year 2 (1 July 2010–30 June 2011), the basis of this report, all year 1 partner contracts have been renewed, new year 2 partner contracts signed, and only the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) agreement remains unsigned (however, the facilities are being used.)