Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A are widespread, especially in Africa. In Malawi, vitamin A deficiency is a public health concern. About 60% of children under five, 57% of nonpregnant women, and 38% of men and school-age children have vitamin A deficiency. Orangefleshed sweetpotato (OFSP), one of the crops biofortified for provitamin A using conventional methods, is high in beta-carotene (provitamin A) and it is a possible solution to VAD and undernutrition.
Sweetpotato is an important food staple in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. This is because most varieties tolerate drought better than most crops and this is often the crop that is relied upon in the event of other crops’ failure. In Malawi, sweetpotato is increasingly becoming an important crop in terms of its contribution to food security. Owing to the fact that OFSP is drought tolerant, it can be used to address VAD and food insecurity. Access to clean planting material, however, remains a challenge in sweetpotato production. Past studies have shown that occurrence of viruses and diseases in sweetpotato drastically reduce its yields. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that clean planting material is used at all times.
This study was undertaken as a baseline study for the project ‘Rooting Out Hunger in Malawi with Nutritious Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato’. The project aims to improve vitamin A and energy intake for at least 70,000 rural households with women and young children using OFSP-based approaches, and to ensure that at least 20% of households growing OFSP earn at least US$100 per year from OFSP sales, and increase their average sweetpotato yields by 50%. This will be achieved through: effective establishment of decentralized vine multipliers (DVM) and a media-based demand creation campaign of OFSP; increased effective demand by changing the perception of sweetpotato and development of fresh root marketing chains for OFSP; increased productivity and quality of sweetpotato by intensifying farming systems to ensure surplus production for sale; and increasing the Department of Agricultural Research Services’ (DARS) capacity to produce clean tissue culture sweetpotato plantlets.
Publication Date: March2013
Identifier: ISBN 978-92-9060-425-9
Rights: CIP publications contribute important development information to the public arena. Readers are encouraged to quote or reproduce material from them in their own publications. As copyright holder CIP requests acknowledgement, and a copy of the publication where the citation or material appears.
HOW TO CITE
Sindi, K., Kiria, C., Low, J.W., Sopo, O., Abidin, P.E. 2013. Rooting out hunger in Malawi with nutritious orange-fl eshed sweetpotato: A baseline survey report. Blantyre, Malawi. International Potato Center (CIP). 98p.