The first five-year phase of the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) five-year project sought 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 required (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 ensuring gender equity. The first phase (i.e., SASHA1) finished on 30 June 2015 and the second five-year phase (i.e., SASHA2) began on 1 July 2014. A no-cost extension was obtained for SASHA1 through 31 October 2014 so that we could finalize analysis and reporting. This report covers the major achievements during the entire project (1 July 2009–30 June 2014) for the breeding and weevil-resistance activities and through 31October 2014 for the other research programs (RP) as part of the no-cost extension. SASHA2 began financing breeding and weevil-resistance activities on 1 July 2014. SASHA1 had five RP, with 227 initial milestones. With donor approval, 60 milestones were dropped, mostly due to the redesign of RP2 (weevil-resistant sweetpotato) in year 3. Of the revised 167 milestones, 1 110 (65.9%) have been fully achieved, 35 (21.0%) have been achieved with modification, 2 and 22 (13.2%), mostly from breeding (RP1) and weevil resistance (RP2), will be achieved during SASHA2. Appendix A provides an updated log frame of outputs. Appendix B provides the detailed milestone table, including comments explaining any reasons for delayed achievement. Concerning milestone reports cited in the report, reference numbers consisting of OBJx (objective numbers) and MSx.x (milestone numbers) correspond to those listed in Appendix B. If only the milestone number (MSx.x) is presented, it refers to the milestone for the given RP, not to a report. To date, the project so far has produced 35 published research articles (fully or partially financed by SASHA funds), 100 briefs(two to four pages each), three brochures, one flipchart, one variety catalog, four videos, and launched a Sweetpotato Knowledge Portal (SKP) that contains 7,004 items. In collaboration with the Reaching Agents of Change (RAC) project, SASHA scientists helped to develop a comprehensive training of trainers course and segments for eight episodes of the “Shamba Shape-up” television program. Since its inception, the project submitted 42 milestone reports. Fifty-six students have been aligned to SASHA project research needs; only 5 have been fully funded by SASHA, with 42 provided logistic and technical support for field activities. The project held a major launch event in October 2009 and annual meetings at which results were shared with the broader community of practice (CoP). SASHA support enabled the launching of the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) in 2009, with the goal of improving the lives of 10 million African households (HH) in 16 SSA countries by 2020 through access to and diversified use of improved sweetpotato varieties. By July 2014, over 900,000 HH had received these improved materials.
Authors: Jan W. Low, Emily Ndoho
Publication Date: April 25, 2014