HarvestPlus supports the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to breed, test, and release varieties of OSP developed in partnership with the International Potato Center (CIP) and iron beans developed through the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Sweet potatoes rank third among the common food staples in Uganda, and are often eaten with beans in many parts of the country.
We establish and train local multipliers to produce vines and seeds, and we engage local labs to micro-propagate clean vines. Poor farmers receive vines or seeds that they “pay forward” by sharing with other farmers upon harvest. Our NGO partners train farm households in seed production and processing, nutrition, post-harvest handling, and marketing.
Through our outreach and public awareness campaigns, we leverage extension services and mass media to disseminate information on micronutrient deficiencies and the benefits of OSP and iron beans.
We also train “lead mothers” to further share this information along with recommended feeding, hygiene and sanitation practices within their communities. We raise demand for OSP and iron beans through activities with a range of stakeholders, including schools and local governments.
To increase the volume of marketed vines, roots, and seed, we target commercial farmers and markets in rural and urban areas.
“My grandchildren now look healthy and eat to their satisfaction because I have enough. I do not regret having planted the orange sweet potatoes.”— Kedress Barugahare, 60-year-old farmer from Kamwenge District
Uganda ranks number 8 out of 81 countries suitable for investing in iron beans.
Nutritional Benefits: Provides up to 50% of daily iron needs
Farmer Benefits: High yielding, virus resistant, heat and drought tolerant
Varieties: Roba 1 (bush); 5 additional varieties planned for release in 2015
Vitamin A Orange Sweet Potato
Uganda ranks number 3 out of 75 countries suitable for investing in vitamin A sweet potato.
Nutritional Benefits: Provides up to 100% of daily vitamin A needs
Farmer Benefits: High yielding, early maturing, drought tolerant
Varieties: Ejumula, Kakamega, Vita, Kabode, Naspot 12 O, Naspot 13 O
- Vitamin A deficiency impairs growth, causes eye damage leading to blindness, and increases the risk of infections such as diarrheal disease.
- 32% of Ugandan children under 5 are estimated to be vitamin A deficient (DHS).
- Iron deficiency impairs mental development and learning capacity, increases weakness and fatigue, and may increase the risk of women dying in childbirth.
- 49% of Ugandan children under 5 are estimated to be iron deficient (DHS).
- Annually, Uganda loses $145 million to vitamin and mineral deficiencies (World Bank).