Biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato helps African farmers respond to climate change

Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns make it much harder for smallholder farmers, who cultivate 80% of the farms and produce 90% of the food in sub-Saharan Africa, to plan and grow a successful harvest. In Kenya, weather patterns have changed and rain no longer falls as it once did. Since 2020, five consecutive rainy seasons have failed, precipitating the worst drought in 40 years. This puts farmers at risk of losing the livelihoods they and their families rely on.

Innovative new crops that are both resilient to climate stresses and exceptionally nutritious are helping farmers like James withstand dry seasons. The biofortified orange-fleshed sweet potato developed at CIP grows abundantly, is tolerant to drought and disease, and comes packed full of micronutrients necessary for growth and development. It matures rapidly and doesn’t require significant amounts of water.

It provides fiber, carbohydrates, and potassium and is biofortified with enough vitamin A to protect kids from a dangerous deficiency that can cause blindness, diarrhea and immune disorders.


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