More than 95% of the world’s sweet potato crop is grown in developing countries, where it is the fifth most important food crop. African farmers produce about 7 million tons of sweet potato annually, mostly for human consumption.
Children with vitamin A deficiency are at increased risk of severe morbidity from common childhood infections such as diarrheal diseases and measles, and in cases of extreme deficiency, can go blind.
Orange sweet potato is an extremely rich source of beta-carotene, an naturally occurring pigment that the body converts into vitamin A. Eating orange sweet potato has been shown to improve vitamin A status of children.
Learn more about where we are growing orange sweet potato:
In the Media
Sweet potatoes, beans perform miracles for Buyende children, New Vision, October 2013
‘Super potato’ could save millions from blindness, London Evening Standard, June 2013
Feeding Isaac: how a mother’s love and her (orange) sweet potato harvest may have saved a community, Pulitzer Center, May 2013
Saving Lives in Africa with the Humble Sweet Potato, National Public Radio, August 2012
A Sweet Potato A Day, IRIN, November 2011
Vitamin Vegetable, Voice of America, November 2011
Orange Sweet Potato A Hit in Mozambique, Say Inventors, SciDev.net, November 2011
Giving Thanks To The Sweet Potato, Impatient Optimists, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, November 2011
Orange Sweet Potato for Vitamin A, Agfax Radio, September 2011
Super Spuds Help Beat Hidden Hunger in Uganda, DFID, September 2011
Bless the Orange Sweet Potato, New York Times, November 2010
Sweet Potato a Vanguard in Global Fight to Curb Severe Malnutrition, Modesto Bee, November 2010
How Farmers Can Add Value to Sweet Potatoes, New Vision-Uganda, October 2010
How Sweet it is to be Healthy, Lumen (University of Adelaide), Summer 2010
Sustainability of Impact: Biofortification in Uganda
Orange Sweet Potatoes Not Just for Africa
Orange Sweet Potato Faces a Bright Future in Africa
Drying Sweet Potato in the Sun
Orange Sweet Potato—Improving Lives in Africa
Which is More Nutritious, Boiled or Steamed Sweet Potato?
Partner CGIAR Centers: International Potato Center (CIP) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Crop Leader: Wolfgang Gruneberg, W.Gruneberg@cgiar.org