Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) is trending, especially since it was recently featured as a picture of the day in one of the local newspapers. Most people are now interested in knowing more about this sweetpotato and why it is different. OFSP, a rich source of pro-vitamin A is easy to grow and matures in 3-5 months. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for everyone, it is important for growth, vision and for immune functions which help our bodies fight diseases.
Did you have doubts about how special this sweetpotato variety is compared to the rest? You’re not alone in this. Since I got involved with OFSP, most of my friends that I told about it had mixed feelings. Some were uninspired because I was talking about sweetpotatoes, which they associate with poverty. Others were curious because of the differences between OFSP and other sweetpotato varieties. Some others didn’t react. These ones didn’t understand what I was telling them and could not prove me wrong.
Not sure where to get the OFSP vines?
You should at this point be curious or interested. In which case you might be wondering where you can get OFSP vines.
You have most probably used roads to or from Southern, Northern provinces and I hope that you have seen the great sign posts on some of the roadsides during your journey. These signposts are one of the ways that can help you get access to OFSP vines. There are a number of farmers that started multiplying these vines with the support of CIP-Rwanda and different partners through the Rwanda Super Foods project. They are helping more people access clean planting materials. Through different projects, millions of cuttings have been disseminated to farmers to improve their yields.
The Rwanda Super Foods project helped them to put up signposts which have a telephone number of a vine multiplier who will happily meet your needs. Ephigenie, one of the vine multipliers in Shogwe, confirms that these signposts are located where everyone can see them, and are acting as efficient middlemen. May people locate them easily by calling the number on the sign post.
How do we get these vitamin A-rich sweetpotato varieties to the millions of people in remote villages? In case you had not heard, now you have. There is no need to doubt. Take the initiative and be one of those agents of change as we reach out to more people. Remember when you have access to these vines, you make it easier for your neighbours to also get them. If you do something about it, it will not take long before many more people learn about the goodness of OFSP.