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How one colour is changing everything

Aloysius - Farmer and pioneer of the Orange Sweet Potato Project Aloysius - Farmer and pioneer of the Orange Sweet Potato Project

Aloysius lives in the Teso sub-region of Uganda where malnutrition and poverty are widespread problems. But Farm Africa's Orange Sweet Potato Project is helping farmers like him produce, process and sell high-quality orange sweet potatoes so they can grow their incomes, improve their diets and build healthier, more prosperous futures for themselves and their communities.

Aloysious was one of the first farmers to start growing orange sweet potatoes with Farm Africa, and today he is an inspiration to other farmers in the area. But when Aloysius first joined Farm Africa's Orange Sweet Potato Project, he was finding it very hard to meet his family's basic needs by growing crops and selling them at the local market. 

"It was very difficult to pay for school fees, or feed my children a nutritious diet. I grew crops, I sold them, but I got very little money."

Farm Africa helped Aloysius learn how to grow high-quality orange sweet potatoes using the best quality vines. We gave him training in agricultural techniques such as staggered planting, which can increase the number of harvests each year. We also taught him how to add value to his potatoes by chipping and drying them, so they can be stored and sold after harvest time when the market isn't flooded.

"Since joining the project I have learnt the best ways to grow, process and sell orange sweet potatoes. My income has increased and I am optimistic that in the future my income will grow even further.

"I supply potatoes on a weekly basis to a local primary school; I'm happy that the children there now get more vitamins because they are eating my potatoes! 

"Right now I am harvesting some orange sweet potatoes that I am going to process and preserve for my family to eat. I've learnt how to chip them and to dry them, so they can be stored for longer. They are my children's favourite! I've learnt that orange sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which is good for my children." (Aloysius' son - pictured left - showing off a giant sweet potato!)

Now Aloysius is seeing great success! He is earning a much higher and more reliable income - and is sharing his new skills and knowledge with other farmers in his community so they too can reap the benefits of this amazing crop.

"The biggest thing I've got from the project is knowledge. Since acquiring this I am getting better prices for my potatoes. I am now even able to teach other farmers to grow orange sweet potatoes, for which I'm very proud."


Aloysius on a demonstration plot teaching other farmers about planting sweet potatoes.

"I am now able to buy clothes for my children and buy food so my family can have a balanced diet. I can also buy soap and even sugar. Most importantly, I'm able to pay the school fees for my children."

Orange sweet potatoes and farmers like Aloysius are at the forefront of battle against poverty and malnutrition in Uganda. Will your church join them?

Photos: Esther Mbabazi / Farm Africa

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