Writen by Agness John- Communications Officer, ENRICH Project
With drought challenges in many parts of Tanzania, Shinyanga region just like many other regions is affected. This makes many families incur malnutrition due to limited nutrients dense crops and number of meals per day. With the introduction of bio-fortified crops, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) there is now a new hope of malnutrition free community.
Sophia (53) a widow with seven children and 14 grandchildren, who lives with her family in Bulekela village, Kishapu District is among early adopters and a lead farmer of orange fleshed sweet potatoes.
"I started farming this potatoes after the crop was introduced to me by a Ward Extension Officer who also advised me to join a farming training organized by World Vision Tanzania through ENRICH Project". Narrates Sophia.
"After the training they provided me like other trainee with vines. In spite of drought I managed to irrigate the farm using local irrigation system". Adds Sophia
According to her, “this variety grows really well and its leaves provides vegetables (locally known as matembele) throughout the farming season”.
With this, Sophia is able to improve the nutrition life of her family and the entire community. As she puts it “I also spread the word to my neighbors and share with them for free as I am a chairperson of nutrition supporting group formed through ENRICH project. The group aims at addressing the nutrition needs of mothers and children's under two in our community”.
"I have inspired ten families with pregnant women and children under two in my community to farm this potatoes through providing vines and farming knowledge and also educate women and children to consume. Says Sophia.
Formerly Sophia's family used to consume two meals per day and sometimes even less but with sweet potatoes farming they started consume three meals and even more after harvest. My grandchildren will no longer miss school because of food shortage. Explains Sophia
"Am grateful to World Vision for introducing the project here because it has not only improved my family nutrition but also improved my income ”.Winds up Sophia.