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N/R farmers to engage large scale production of orange fleshed sweet potato


Farmers in the Northern region of Ghana have started producing orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) to fight Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) which is considered a serious public health problem affecting the intellect of affected individuals.

The farmers say they are committed in engaging large scale production of the OFSP to feed their families during an OFSP food show at Nantong, in the Savelugu-Nantong District of the Northern region.

Some of the farmers exhibited the local dishes they have prepared with the OFSP and as well learnt about how to prepare a range of products with the OFSP.

The food show was organized by Farm Radio International, an International Media Organization in collaboration with North Star Radio, a sister station based in Tamale, and the International Potato Center (CIP), Hellen Keller Foundation and other partners.

More than thirty Farmers Radio Listeners Clubs involving over two thousand men and women farmers from Tolon, Kumbungu, Yendi, and Savelugu-Nantong districts of the northern region, who are already engaged in a pilot project are involved in a twenty weeks radio campaign by North Star radio, in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

During the twenty weeks OFSP radio campaign, farmers have learnt about the characteristics of cultivating OFSP, and are able to identify t as a rich source of vitamin A which is easy to grow, and a cost effective way to combat Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD), among pregnant and lactating mothers, children under 5 years of age and adults as a whole.

The food show was an opportunity for the farmers to learn how to prepare both local and industrial dishes using the OFSP to improve nutrition and combat VAD in their communities.

A Nutritionist and member of the Advisory Board of Farm Radio International Dr. David Amaglo advised the farmers to take up the challenge to produce and consume more OFSP foods which according to him would not only prevent them from falling sick but also make treatment easier when they are sick.

 Dr. Amaglo who is also a Nutrition specialist at the University for Development Studies in Tamale noted that Vitamin A which is contained in  the Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes is essential for good health and eye sight and has a natural effect on ones health than artificially fortified foods.

He called for a concerted effort by both government and the private sector to promote the production and consumption of the orange fleshed sweet potatoes as an effective approach for fighting vitamin A Deficiency especially in rural areas of Ghana.


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