Promoting Biofortified Crops for Nutrition: Lessons from Orange-fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) in Tanzania
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This case study examines the outcomes of interventions in Tanzania that have promoted the production and consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) – a biofortified crop – with the objective of reducing vitamin A deficiencies. The report contributes to policy efforts to promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture by providing lessons for the introduction of biofortified crops in Tanzania and elsewhere. The case study is particularly instructive because OFSP has been a flagship of biofortification efforts, and because Tanzania appeared to have high potential for uptake of the crop. The country is a major producer of sweet potato, although the vast majority of production is of the nutrient-poor white-fleshed varieties (WFSP). Sweet potato is an important food security crop for small farming households, particularly in Tanzania’s Lake Zone. The crop has the advantage of requiring little land and few inputs, and can be stored on-farm for several months. The crop also has commercial value, and white-fleshed varieties are available in urban markets throughout the year.