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Nutritious Sweetpotato for Niassa – Mozambique

Project Ongoing

Niassa suffers from very high rates of child malnutrition.  Forty-five percent of children less than five years of age are stunted, levels of vitamin A deficiency are high, and nutritional knowledge among caregivers low.  Baseline data indicated that 76% of households in target districts are growing sweetpotato (average plot size 300 m); indicating that knowledge of the crop is widespread and the introduction of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) would be a marginal change.

The key aim of the 3.5 project, which began in November 2012, is to improve vitamin A and energy intake for at least 20,000 rural households with women and young children using orange-fleshed sweetpotato focused, food-based approaches that ensures at least 20% of households growing OFSP earn 50 USD or more per year from OFSP sales, and increase average sweetpotato yields by 50% by mid-2016.

The project is working in 8 districts of in Niassa Province, Mozambique (Lago, Muembe, Sanga, Chimbunila, Lichinga, Mandimba, Cuamba and Mecanhelas), covering 29 Administrative Posts, 87 communities and 267 villages (Fig. 2, with dominant OFSP varieties grown highlighted).

Benjamin Rakotoarisoa (CIP); Carolino Martinho Antonio (IIAM); Arnaldo Maximiliano Maloa Maloa (SETSAN)

Key Project Information

CIP and partners are providing access to quality OFSP planting material by creating a network of decentralized multiplication sites and trained farmer multipliers to serve surrounding communities through vine distribution.  The households consume leaves and roots and sell the surplus in the open market and to bakeries.  The implementation strategy includes:

  • Testing of drought-tolerant OFSP varieties in participatory On-Farm-Trials (OFTs) with farmers, to select the best varieties at the community levels with the producers men and women;
  • Identifying and training decentralized vine multipliers (DVMs) so that quality planting materials of the new varieties preferred by farmers can be easily accessed;
  • Conducting training programs, field days and technical backstopping;
  • Coordinating distribution of vines to rural households in collaboration with partner organizations;
  • Informing communities about the nutritional value of OFSP through demand creation campaigns;
  • Linking to nutrition efforts led by others to increase impact on dietary practices;
  • Facilitating fresh root market development and OFSP processed product utilization.


Who we are working with: IIAM, Association Progresso (AP) and Diocese de Niassa (Anglican diocese) are the major partners.  In the third year, collaboration expanded with public sector extension in the eight districts for mass multiplication, and UCA and ADPP  also participated.  With its own funds, SETSAN distributed OFSP vines to other districts in Niassa.  Two new bakers (Pao Dourado and one small baker) starting testing the OFSP Power bread in 2015.  

Project Leader: Benjamin Rakotoarisoa

Project Members: Carolino Martinho Antonio (IIAM); Arnaldo Maximiliano Maloa Maloa (SETSAN)  

Leader Benjamin Rakotoarisoa
Start date November 01, 2012
End date March 31, 2016
Lead organization International Potato Center (CIP)
Collaborating organizations IIAM, Association Progresso (AP) and Diocese de Niassa (Anglican diocese); UCA and ADPP
Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Countries Mozambique
Status Ongoing
Type of project Development / Dissemination
Financing Sources Irish Aid
Members Benjamin Rakotoarisoa


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