Nutritional security livelihoods and climate resilience in Africa

Nutritional security livelihoods and climate resilience in Africa

Substantial economic growth over swathes of Africa in recent years has helped significantly reduce poverty, malnutrition, and food and nutritional insecurity. The fourth and seventh most important crops on the continent, potato and sweetpotato are suitable for challenging circumstances, contributing to the nutrition and incomes of millions of African families. Both crops are highly efficient in transforming water into calories and have short maturity periods. Orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) provides a rich source of vitamin A—commonly deficient among children and women of reproductive age—and potato contains significant amounts of vitamin B and C, iron, potassium and zinc. With rising demand, there is huge potential for closing crop yield gaps, sustainably intensifying production systems and strengthening value chains in Africa.




Home to CIP’s breeding platform that has produced 22 drought-resistant OFSP varieties in the last decade, 19 of which vitamin A-rich—a third of sweetpotatoes grown in the country.


Promoting OFSP in West Africa

While sweetpotato is a traditional crop in West Africa, nutritious orange-fleshed varieties were hardly grown in the region before CIP began promoting them. SASHA and BNBF has played a crucial role in developing, deploying and creating demand for biofortified, and later climate-smart, sweetpotato varieties in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria over the past decade.