Fortified sweet potatoes developed in Zambia

10 August, 2010, Danstan Kaunda

Scientists in northern Zambia have developed 15 new varieties of vitamin-A fortified sweet potatoes.

The research to fortify sweet potatoes has taken seven years at a cost of over US$ 30,000 with funding from the United States (US) base Rockefeller Foundation and the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) in Luapula Province.[frax09alpha]

ZARI, Mansa research official, Martin Chiona said the new sweet potato varieties have a 13 percent high in vitamin A.

“This potato variety is unique option that will provide a cheaper and accessible source of vitamin A supplement to most low income households in Luapula province where high deficiency of vitamin A has be been identified as a cause of blindness,” Chiona said.

The only challenge now is for the National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) to evaluate and endorse this sweet potato variety on the Zambian market.

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