The sweetpotato is well known within these areas, however it is often the white-fleshed variety that has the overall popularity; it is easy to get hold of, to grow and to sell. However, since the collaboration between SSU and the International Potato Center (CIP) begun at the beginning of April, the orange-fleshed variety has become increasingly popular due to its many health benefits and delicious taste!
The sweetpotato has always been a tasty treat, both for humans and livestock, whom farmers often feed the vines to. However, over recent times, the less well known ‘orange-fleshed’ or ‘American’ variety has becoming increasingly popular. This rise in popularity could be for a number of reasons, including the ease of growing – it requires minimal chemical fertilizers – or for its health benefits. The OFSP is very rich in Vitamin A, which comes from the orange color inside. Vitamin A is crucial to all people, in particular young children and pregnant women. Shamba Shape Up, East Africa’s most popular farming TV series, has had a focus on OFSP over the first 5 episodes of its new series. Each episode has focused on a new area, be it planting, diseases, storage, cutting vines and, in the last episode, even cooking! Both Shamba Shape Up and CIP were aiming to show how diverse the sweetpotato could be, and by doing this, ended in a drama-filled OFSP cooking competition! The competition started between presenters Tonny and Naomi, while other local women and CIP experts Sammy and Mary joined in to make a variety of different sweetpotato products, including cakes, chips, pancakes, chapattis and even potato juice!
The competition was a fantastic success, with presenter Tonny winning with his OFSP mandazis (a sweet, baked, treat which is popular in Kenya). The competition gave viewers the chance to realize that sweetpotatoes could be used all over the country to provide a healthy and nutritious snack for themselves and their children.
This episode, as well as others, can be viewed on the Shamba Shape Up website at www.shambashapeup.com. Even more about OFSP or any type of farming can be learned on both the CIP & SSU Facebook pages at: www.facebook.com/ShambaShapeUp and www.facebook.com/International-Potato-Center
If you want to learn more about the episode, or OFSP themselves, please SMS from your phone your name, address & OFSP to 30606 (Kenya only) and Shamba Shape Up will send you a free informational leaflet full of great tips and hints for getting the most from your crop! The leaflet for the episodes are also online, such as below: http://shambashapeup.com/viewepisode/73
By: Katharine MacMahon / Shamba Shape Up