Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato is a Star Player at World Food Day Celebrations in Western Kenya

One of CIP SSA’s sweetpotato projects was a key player in support of recent events held in Western Kenya to mark World Food Day.

Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) farmers and processors from Gem and Ugunja Sub Counties featured prominently during the Siaya County to celebrate World Food Day on October 16th. OFSP farmers and processors from the region displayed and sold various OFSP products across 5 different stands with products ranging from fresh roots, vines, and potatoes to juice, cakes and cookies.

The OFSP actors, drawn from three thematic groups (seed, fresh roots and processors), are all part of the Scaling up Technologies in OFSP program which uses the agricultural innovation system to address food and nutrition security in Eastern and Central Africa. The project is funded through the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDT) of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), and works in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Lake Zone Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Tanzania is the overall lead for the project and Ugunja Community Resource Centre (UCRC) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) are the key partners in Kenya. The International Potato Center provides technical backstopping and capacity strengthening on value chain activities through the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative.

Members of the Elites Entertainment Youth Group Promoting OFSP through song and dance

The actors displayed quality OFSP products and the event guests and participants were impressed with the value addition components of OFSP. An OFSP cake, baked and presented by Ms. Lydia Owino a processor from Gem with assistance of Rachel Adipo of UCRC, was used to officially mark the occasion.

The OFSP products were so popular that the OFSP juice made by Mrs. Osamba ran out by midday as many participants scrambled to purchase it. At the end of the event, many queries on OFSP technologies were received at the UCRC and actors’ stands.

The farmers and producers did the project proud, successfully promoting OFSP to the events many high profile attendees including Siaya county Governor HE George Okode and Deputy County Commissioner for Ugunja Sub – County.

OFSP Seed and fresh roots on display at the Siaya County World Food Day Celebrations

The event was hosted by Mrs. Beatrice Agoko, the Secretary of Seed thematic group and the event attracted participation from more than 1000 male and female farmers from the region.

World Food Day Event Partners: State Department of Agriculture; Several local and international NGOS including World Vision and UCRC, Siaya County Government and Ugunja Farmers Stakeholder Forum.