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Sweet potato in hands. Photo credit: International Potato Center/ Sara Fajardo.
Photo credit: International Potato Center/ Sara Fajardo.

New project: Promoting Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato in Ghana

The Kofi Annan Foundation is delighted to announce a new one-year project supporting the promotion of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) in Ghana. The project, entitled ‘Demand Creation and Impact Scaling Project for Orange-fleshed Sweet Potato’, is funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

The Foundation is pleased to continue its work on this crucial issue, building on Kofi Annan’s outstanding legacy supporting agricultural development and nutrition in Africa. Kofi Annan’s wife, Mrs Nane Annan, fondly remembers previous visits in Ghana with her husband in support of OFSP. “We must take advantage of the great potential of sweet potato to contribute to improving health and wealth in Ghana,” Mrs Annan says. 

Mrs Nane Annan and Kofi Annan with orange fleshed sweet potato

Nane Annan and Kofi Annan on a field trip to Cape Coast. Picture courtesy of Nane Annan.

Mrs Annan supports the project as a dedicated nutritional ambassador and member of the Kofi Annan Foundation board.

“We must take advantage of the great potential of sweet potato to contribute to improving health and wealth in Ghana.”

Recognising the significant potential of OFSP for income generation, employment, and nutrition, the project will contribute to the development of OFSP value chains in Ghana and demand creation. Working with partners on the ground, the Foundation will conduct awareness and demand creation campaigns at the local level, mobilise political will and support, and advocate for OFSP to combat malnutrition, support climate adaptation, and contribute to economic development.

In Ghana, many women and children under the age of five are malnourished due to insufficient micronutrient-rich foods. OFSP is a highly nutritious crop, rich in vitamin A, that can fight stunting and reduce vitamin A deficiency among vulnerable populations, especially young children and lactating mothers. Not only does OFSP provide excellent value for health and nutrition, but it is also climate-smart as it is easy and fast to grow and can help farmers cope with the effects of severe climate conditions.

“We shall reap what we sow. By supporting Africa’s smallholder farmers, we can build an Africa free from hunger. We can build an Africa free from poverty. We can build an Africa proud to be economically strong and able to feed itself. That is the bountiful harvest that together we can and must achieve.” – Kofi Annan, in 2017 (read the full article)

With a market-led approach, the project will significantly stimulate OFSP production and processing, ensuring profits for farmers and small- and medium-sized businesses, including women and youth. The project will support the objectives of flagship government initiatives such as Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme and the One District One Factory initiative.