Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato project is an initiative by WWFA that aims to engage, empower and encourage Africa´s small scale rural women farmers to scale up production to consequently scale up the fight against hunger and hidden hunger.
The initiative by women for women realizes the challenges of information gap and access to new farming techniques that exists among women farmers: These challenges are detrimental to the fight against hunger and hidden hunger. By offering training in soft and technical farming skills in sweet potato production, women who farm hopes to build a network of women farmers who make deliberate choices to farm in order to obtain high yield, environmental protection and nutritional benefits needed for their children, families and communities at large. Women hold the power to influence diet choices and possess a special way of inculcating this influence in their children and families.
In Zambia, women farmers are at the helm of food production with over 60% actively involved as small scale farmers. On the other hand, Vitamin A Deficiency VAD takes the life of every 1 in five children under the age of five. There are bio fortified options available but are not in the hands of women farmers. Yellow maize, bio fortified sugar beans and Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes are available to grow for farmers in the country.
Sweet Potato is a very important Food and Nutrition Security root crop in Zambia. Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) is the bio fortified variety of sweet potatoes that contains high levels of beta – carotene. Beta- carotene is an organic red – orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. When consumed by humans, it is converted to Vitamin A. It enhances nutrition, is a drought tolerant crop, and needless to say, it has potential to improve farmer income.
So far it has proven to be able to curb unexpected weather changes, adapt to varied agro ecological zones, yield highly and most importantly, fight hunger and hidden hunger. The project is being developed in a structure that will ensure women farmers in Chilanga district grow more of this crop.