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SPHI Brief 2014: The Reaching Agents of Change (RAC) Project in Nigeria (2011-2014)

Nigeria is the second largest sweetpotato producing country in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Sweetpotato is the fourth most important root and tuber crop, after cassava, yam and taro. Nigeria still faces the challenge of stunted and underweight among children, and deaths are attributed to undernutrition. Almost 30% of preschool aged children in Nigeria are deficient in vitamin A, a micronutrient that helps young children grow and develop normally and stay healthy. The orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is a vitamin A powerhouse that can address the high percentage of vitamin A deficiency in Nigeria, especially among young children under the age of five and women of reproductive age. In addition, OFSP contributes significant amounts of vitamins C, E, K and several B vitamins. Leaves also have good micronutrient contents and adequate protein (4%) for use as food and animal feed. OFSP can thus be used to cost-effectively improve nutrition, empower women, and increase income earning opportunities, even for the poorest households. It’s short maturing period (3-5 months), ability to grow under marginal conditions and flexible planting and harvest times are also driving its expansion. This brief, reports of achievement of Reaching Agents of Change (RAC) in adoption of OFSP. Overall, orange-fleshed sweetpotato has emerged from being relatively unknown in Nigeria to becoming part of its Agricultural Transformation Agenda.


Njoku, J. and Chima, I. 2014. The Reaching Agents of Change (RAC) Project in Nigeria (2011-2014). International Potato Center (CIP).