Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and Malnutrition are widespread throughout the developing world. About 44% of pre-school age children in Africa are Vitamin A deficient, preventing them from growing and developing normally. In Kenya, VAD affects 84% of children and 39% of women (particularly pregnant women). Increasing the intake through the production of vitamin A- rich foods can make a tangible difference in combating VAD. Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) has the potential to contribute to its reduction in Kenya. Sweet potato is the sixth most important food crop after rice, wheat, potatoes, maize, and cassava in Kenya, while in most of the developing nations; it is the fifth most important food crop. The area under its production grew from 20,181 hectares yielding 527,470 tons (valued at KSh 4 billion) in 2009 to 22,989 hectares in 2011 yielding 1,000,267 tons valued at KSh 7.6 billion. This scenario has been attributed to the use of improved cultivars and farming methods. Researches are being conducted in Kenya by research institutes such as KALRO, in partnership with projects such as SASHA, CIP, in ensuring that there is constant development of good cultivars and good farming methods which will help in ensuring that the yields of the OFSP are always high and the population enjoy the benefits associated with the product. It is hence important to emphasize the potential that sweet potato holds for both consumers (as a source of nutritious food) and producers (as an income generating enterprise).
Authors: Daisy Lanoi
Subjects: MPU CoP
Publication Date: 2017
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) - You can copy, distribute, display and perform the work and evolved versions of it. You must give the original creator credit for the work.