Farmers have been encouraged to grow a breed of potato called Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) because it has a lot of economic importance and also because of its high nutritional value.
Ms. Elizabeth A. Jibrin who grows OFSP in large quantity told Daily Trust recently that it was one of the crops that put more money in her pocket, adding that she received a lot of calls to supply it.
The 62-year-old Elizabeth, who hails from Zuru in Kebbi State and is a retired director with the National Universities Commission (NUC), also said the consumption of the crop had improved her sight dramatically because of the beta-carotene in it which is a precursor of Vitamin A: responsible for good eye vision.
Ms. Jibrin has two hectares of OFSP at Shamage along the Keffi-Nasarawa Expressway near Abuja and she is expanding more.
Speaking on the product she said, “Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato enjoys good market locally. I have received many calls to supply it from people who happen to be aware of its huge health benefits.”
She told this reporter that some Koreans visited the farm to inspect and they acknowledged OFSP. She further said after the visit of the Koreans, she was now willing to supply the vines of OFSP to farmers who wanted to grow it.
She further encouraged them to take advantage of the health and economic potentials of OFSP to generate more income to support their families.
She also said nutrition advocates were pushing for the cultivation of the new variety with the hope of reducing Vitamin A deficiency in children.
OFSP was developed from crossbreeding programmes at the National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia State.