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Orange-fleshed sweet potato project

In the Morogoro region of Tanzania, too often farmers cannot afford to buy the high quality seeds they need to grow enough crops to sell and support their families. What farmers do manage to grow they often have to sell immediately to passing traders for a poor price, trapping them in a cycle of poverty.

This three year project aimed to provide farmers with the tools and skills they need to grow orange-fleshed sweet potato and lift their families out of poverty.

Why orange-fleshed sweet potatoes?

  • They are rich in Vitamin A, which provides a much needed boost to the immune system and helps prevent serious conditions like early onset blindness
  • A major campaign by the government of Tanzania to promote the vegetables as nutritious source of energy mean there is a growing demand for this crop in the country
  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are not susceptible to the mburumundu pest which often blights crops in Morogoro region

 

Learning new skills

  • 30 new demonstration plots were established across ten villages in the region – helping 3,000 farmers gain access to training
  • Demonstration plots provided farmers with the opportunity to learn practical skills and test different crop varieties to see which ones grow best. Our farmers were given a choice of four different varieties to experiment with: Mataya, Kabode, Kiegea and Jewel

 

Group marketing and production

  • We set up a farming co-operative, so farmers can store and sell their crops as one unit – maximising quality and increasing profit
  • Co-operatives established saving and lending credit association in each village – helping farmers access small loans to invest in their future
  • We also helped farmers access accurate market information so they are aware of current market prices for their crops

 

Who were we helping?

We worked with 3,000 farmers in ten villages in the Morogoro region of Tanzania. These farmers benefited from new skills learned at our demonstration plots, as well as better access to storage facilities and marketing opportunities.

Who were we working with?

This project was funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.