Nelly Bassily | August 25, 2014
This week’s story from Uganda talks about orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). Our script of the week also talks about growing OFSP.
Most African economies are heavily dependent on agriculture. But many farmers are leaving agriculture to venture into other work. Their reasons for leaving vary, but include challenges such as climate change, pests and diseases, decreasing soil fertility, and fluctuations in market prices for their products.
Agricultural researchers are working on ways to make agriculture more viable for small-scale farmers. One type of research involves breeding new crops which offer specific benefits to farmers. Among these is the orange-fleshed sweet potato. Farmers in several countries have started growing this crop with getting good results.
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes contain lots of vitamin A, which is vital for human health. The fresh roots can be made into cakes, breads and other edible products. Foods made with the fresh root retain vitamin A, which is partially lost when the root is ground into flour. Orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties grow more quickly than traditional African varieties and have a comparable yield.
Our script of the week features an interview with a Ugandan farmer who talks about her experience growing orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.