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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Two women with bread

Eunice Bonsi (right) is working with food processors and bakers to formulate flours, breads, purees and weaning foods using orange and purple sweet potatoes.

 

Photo slideshow above, or see our "Orange-fleshed sweet potatos in Ghana" album on Flickr, from two sweet potato projects, both led by Eunice Bonsi.

Sustainable Technology for Orange and Purple Sweetpotato (STOPS) in Ghana

Target Country: Ghana

Principal Investigator: Eunice Bonsi, Tuskegee University

Collaborators:

Project Description

This project builds on a completed Immediate Impact Project.

In Ghana, the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency is high among children and pregnant women. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) affects 72 percent of the country’s children younger than 5 years and contributes to one of three of child deaths between the ages of 6 to 59 months. The projected number of childhood deaths attributed to VAD is 104,300 between 2005 and 2014.

Sweet potato is considered an excellent food security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. Although high in carbohydrates, white sweet potatoes mostly consumed are very low in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Widespread production and consumption of the vitamin A-rich orange and purple sweet potatoes in Ghana remains limited due to lack of awareness, limited availability of clean-planting materials and limited inclusion in the diet for diversity.

Using the gap and decision analysis tools, this project proposes to strengthen the value chain in three sweet potato growing regions in Ghana to improve food security, agricultural productivity and economic value. This aligns with the themes and related strategic emphases of the Horticulture CRSP and USAID's Feed the Future initiatives in Ghana as a focus country. Throughout the value chain analysis, gender and the status of children will be given elevated consideration to ensure the participation and benefit to women and children from project services and outcomes. By working with most of the actors along the value chain, this research has the potential to enhance the economic opportunities especially among resource-poor sections of the rural population.

Project updates

One-page success story: From vine to flour: Bridging gaps in sweet potato value chain (PDF)