Kabale Farmers Embrace Orange Sweet Potato Growing to fight Malnutrition

1328 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Paul Karimunda, another Orange Sweet Potato farmer in Hamurwa Sub County, says the potato has proved to fight malnutrition. According to Karimunda, he now processes the potato into flour, which he sells out to families with malnourished children. Julian Ayebare, a resident of Ikumba Sub County, says their biggest challenge is limited planting material in the district.

Orange sweet potato growing has taken root in Kabale district.  According to African 2000 network, more than 8000 families are involved in Orange sweet potato growing.  Africa 2000 Network, a nongovernmental organisation introduced Orange sweet potato growing in Ikumba and Hamurwa sub counties in Kabale district to address the problem of malnutrition.

 
Orange sweet potato is an extremely rich source of beta-carotene, and naturally occurring pigment that the body converts into vitamin A. Eating orange sweet potato has been shown to improve vitamin A in children. Children with vitamin A deficiency are at increased risk of severe morbidity from common childhood infections such as diarrheal and measles, and in extreme cases blindness. Farmers say growing and consumption of Orange Sweet potatoes has started yielding positive results. 

 
Jenifer Ayesigwa, one of the farmers involved in Orange Sweet Potato growing in Hamurwa Sub County, says she received planting materials last year and they have been feeding on the potatoes for the last six months. According to Ayesigwa, he had two malnourished children and used to frequent Kabale Referral Hospital but this is no longer the case.



Paul Karimunda, another Orange Sweet Potato farmer in Hamurwa Sub County, says the potato has proved to fight malnutrition. According to Karimunda, he now processes the potato into flour, which he sells out to families with malnourished children. Julian Ayebare, a resident of Ikumba Sub County, says their biggest challenge is limited planting material in the district.

 
Jimmy Musiime, an Extension worker under Africa 2000 Network, which spearheaded the introduction of the orange sweet potato in Kabale, says they are also promoting the variety in Kisoro and Kanungu district where cases of malnutrition are common. He says that although farmers are embracing the variety, some rigid farmers still think that the traditional white potatoes are the best.
 

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Tagged with: kabale

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.