Drocella Yankulije: Youth group providing new opportunities through farming

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As I had started farming orange-fleshed sweet potato and was benefiting from it, I thought that it could have a wider impact on the community.

I had the idea to get the youth participating in farming as a way to help them. I then set up a youth group here. Many of the members are orphans, and all are from the local area.

There were many young people in this area that had nothing to do, and they had no support or money. I explained to them how I had benefited from growing orange-fleshed sweet potato, they could be a part of this and they could invest their time and energy in farming with me.

We distributed the orange-fleshed sweet potato vines to each of the members and appointed a steering committee to follow up with each member. We wanted to make sure that each person was planting and taking good care of their vines and to provide support if needed.

Scaling up Sweetpotato through Agriculture and Nutrition (SUSTAIN) is a five-year partnership (2013-2018) coordinated by the International Potato Center (CIP) and financed by the UK Department for International Development to spread the nutrition benefits of biofortified OFSP to more farmers.

 The program aims to reach 1.2 million households with children under 5 years across four countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Rwanda through mutually-reinforcing incentives to increase adoption of OFSP, consumption of Vitamin-A-rich foods, and diversification of OFSP utilization.

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