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UDS Lecturer calls for presidential initiative on the cultivation of orange flesh sweet potato



A lecturer at the agriculture department of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Francis Kwaku Amagloh has called for a presidential initiative program for the cultivation of Orange-Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP) in Ghana.

Dr Amagloo made the call when he presented the scientific aspect and nutritional value of OFSP at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) RING Press briefing in Tamale.

The briefing which attended by all RING officers and partners was to brief partners on the success chalked in RING operational districts and the scaling up of the project. The USAID-RING is collaborating with UDS, CIP, SARI and Farm Radio International and charged Ghana’s Food and Agriculture ministry to support their effort.

The initiative, the lecturer said, will encourage the cultivation of the potato by Ghanaian farmers, boosting its consumption, which ultimately will go a long way to give the agriculture sector  a shot in the arm, strengthen it.

The lecturer recalled the creation of a presidential initiative on cassava introduced by the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government under president John Agyekum Kufour administration.

According to the lecturer, cultivation of orange flesh sweet potato known in Dagbani as Alaafee Wulijo is the best solution to addressing malnutrition and stunted growth among Ghanaian children.

Dr Amagloh explained that the “alaafee wulijo” contains vitamin A, and this can address vitamin A deficiency in Ghanaian children. The lecturer was not happy that Ghanaians are too much dependent on what he called ‘white color food,’ and he is of the view that a switch from white potato to orange sweet potato will go long way to improve the nutritional needs of both children and their mothers. Even white maize that is a staple in most homes does not contain vitamin A, the lecturer added.

“My worry is about children because mothers keep on feeding their children with the cereal legume blend which was to improve the protein content of porridge given to children, unfortunate it has no vitamin A, and so we want to replace the maize with OFSP,” he stated.

The soil fertility in most of the project communities he added, is very poor but it is good enough to grow orange flesh sweet potato and districts such as West Gonja recorded high yields last year.

Dr Amagloh said they are ready to help the government to cultivate orange flesh sweet potato to improve the levels of vitamin A in children under five years and their mothers.


He told news men and women that orange flesh sweet potato is the only way Ghana can address the Vitamin A deficiency because experience from elsewhere in the world have shown that.

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