PCD Nigeria raise awareness on using orange flesh sweet potato to combat vitamin A deficiency

PCD programme manager on OFSP training

Selected as an advocate of Orange Flesh Sweet Potato (OFSP) as a means to combat vitamin A deficiency and food insecurity in Africa, Partnership for Child Development (PCD) Nigeria along with 28 participants from private sector, NGOs and OFSP experts across Nigeria, Ghana and Burkino Faso recently attended a course on successfully raising awareness for OFSP projects. 

The Trainers of Trainers (ToT) course titled, “Everything You Need to Know About Sweet Potato” aimed to build capacity of national implementing agencies (research bodies, NGOs) and senior extension personnel on the appropriate use and production of vitamin A rich OFSP in Nigeria.

PCD provide technical support to Osun State’s School Feeding Programme (O'Meals) which provides a win-win for children and farmers alike by sourcing produce for school meals locally from smallholder farmers. Following the training, PCD Nigeria will cascade learning to O’Meals food vendor and smallholder farmer cooperative groups to encourage the use of OFSP in Osun’s school meals, improving the vitamin A status of children in the State. 

Organised by the International Potato Centre (CIP), Helen Keller International (HKI) and the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), the course ran from 23 September - 4 October, 2013 in Ilorin, Nigeria. Organisers facilitated adult learning methodology combining lectures, case studies, and discovery based/experiential learning approaches, practical hands on exercise, site visits, group work and plenary discussions.

Topics covered during the course ranged from: origin and Importance of sweet potato, sweet potato varietal selection and characteristics, OFSP and nutrition, sweet potato production, management disease, harvesting and post harvesting management, marketing and value addition, processing and utilization, and monitoring OFSP dissemination and uptake.

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