To enhance the living standards of food producers, value-chain approaches have received extensive attention. Recently, achieving good nutrition through healthier diets is gathering momentum. Now agricultural value-chains are considering not only on how to make money, but how to contribute to improved quality of life. Thus, the nutrition lens is starting to be applied to all activities from farm to fork to ensure the consumption of foods that meet daily nutrient needs.
It is against this background that this year’s theme for the annual Marketing, Processing, and Utilization Community of Practice was: “Nutrition sensitive value chains for roots, tubers and banana (RTB).” Other RTB crops were included so the sweetpotato sector could learn from their experience, given that Uganda is RTB heaven! The meeting was held on the 9th -11thApril 2019 at Hotel Africana Kampala, Uganda, attended by 58 participants, (35 male and 23 female) from 10 countries (Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and the United States).
In line with the themes, eight participants presented their posters and made three minute elevator pitches to participant’s describing their work. The winner of the best abstract presentation was Zena Mshana from Better Markets for Crops (BMC) products limited in Tanzania.
Ms Zena Mshana from Tanzania has contributed to improving nutritious options available to her community through nutritional awareness campaigns including Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) especially for rural women and children. She runs Better Markets for Crops (BMC) products limited in Tengeru, Tanzania, a company that deals with vine multiplication, root production, processing and marketing of OFSP Products. Having benefitted from trainings and workshops from CIP, her company also provides training to users on nutritional value of OFSP, innovative ways of preparing OFSP dishes, OFSP production and postharvest handling.
In recognition of their contributions towards promotion of OFSP puree in processing, Antonio Magnaghi from Euro Ingredients basedKenya, Jean Pankuku from Tehilah Bakery and Value Addition Centre based in Malawi, and Simon Gule from Tuskys Supermarket in Kenya, each received an award.
Showcasing innovations in Orange-fleshed sweetpotato
On the 11th of April, private sector players working with OFSP displayed value added and processed OFSP products and posters. This provided a platform for participants to learn about the progress made in the development of processing and value addition of OFSP.
In addition, there were a live cooking demonstrations with Chef Arnold from Petma Restaurant-Kenya, Antonio Magnaghi from Euro Ingredients and Simon Gule from Tuskys Supermarket Kenya. These sessions were truly appreciated as the participants got to watch, learn, and eat the baked products and meals prepared using orange-fleshed sweetpotato. You can download orange-fleshed sweetpotato recipes on our site here: https://www.sweetpotatoknowledge.org/topics/sweetpotato-recipes/
Live cooking demonstration with Chef Arnold, Antonio Magnaghi and Simon Gule
Photo credit: F. Njung’e
Another highlight for the participants was that that they had a chance to interact with Jean Pankuku a Malawian food technologist who owns the Tehilah Bakery and Value Addition Centre that focuses on commercializing nutritious and healthy foods using locally grown crops. Jean founded it after years of helping other Malawian businesses develop commercial products based on a range of crops. Read her story here.