AGRITECH FIRM EMBARKS ON CULTIVATION OF VITAMIN A ORANGE FLESHED-POTATO
…Targets Product Market Share, reduced hidden hunger and Increase in Vitamin A for Children
In line with our mandate for 2021 through the Sustainable Rural Agriculture Development Project (SRADeP). El-kanis & Partners have acquired over 4 Hectares of land at Abak and 7 Hectares at Mkpat Enin local government areas for the cultivation of vitamin A orange fleshed potato.
Clearing, ploughing and ridging works at the farmland are at an advanced stage.This is a huge step towards sustainable agriculture, food security and healthy living among residents of Akwa Ibom and her environs.
Improved vines have been ordered from Research Institute, and cultivation will soon commence.
Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) is a special type of biofortified sweet potato that contains high level of Beta-carotene. Beta-Carotene, an organic red-orange pigment is abundant in plants and fruits. Beta-carotene is what gives OFSP an orange color and is converted to Vitamin A in the body after consumption to provide additional nutritional benefits.
Sweet potato is an important food and nutritious security root crop. Nigeria is the third largest producer in the world after China and Uganda with an annual production estimated at 3.9 million metric tons per year, and SRADeP is piloting these project in Akwa Ibom State to ensure full utilization of the crop benefits. The crop can thrive in all the 31 Local Government Areas and has a short production cycle of (3-4 months), it can be grown all year round while its roots and vines can be used for both human and animal consumption.
Therefore, by using orange-fleshed sweet potato, it is possible to improve vitamin A status, increase the bio-availability of different micro-nutrients such as; Fe, Zn, Ca and Mg, reduce vitamin A deficiency and hence reduce child mortality rates by 23 to 30%.
100g of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) can meet the daily vitamin A needs of a young child.
Orange-fleshed potato can be used in the production of flour, potato bread, potato juice that you can add a little milk which is very good for the body.
Interestingly, the project targets to cultivate up to 2,000 hectares and more of farmland in this planting season.
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