Compiled by Musa Mtileni and Sunette Laurie
The ARC, in partnership with the Department of Social De-velopment, Department of Health, Department of Rural De-velopment and Agrarian Reform, and Old Mutual are imple-menting a project promoting the production of orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) as part of the Integrated Moth-er and Child Development and Support Programme (IMCDSP). This is an intervention programme that is fighting child poverty and malnutrition. The programme is an imme-diate response to the increase in the incidence of infant mortality in the OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo districts, and is aimed at empowering women with children below the age of five. The OFSP Project was launched on 12 August 2021 as part of the Women’s Month Programme for 2021.
Capacity development of mothers was conducted over the period 16 – 24 November 2021, and is being piloted in three local municipalities of Ingquza Hill, Port St Johns and Ntabankulu, in the Eastern Cape Province. A total of 101 women, including young mothers, were trained during theo-retical sessions on: How to plan a vegetable garden, Produc-tion practices of sweet potato, and Benefits of orange-fleshed sweet potato. Practical demonstrations were per-formed on plots of 8 m x 6 m in size and included other pro-vitamin A rich crops such as Swiss Chard, carrot and butter-nut, in addition to OFSP. The practical sessions included plot demarcation, land preparation, fertilizer application, ridge making, plant spacing, handling of propagation material and crop management. After the practical session each mother who attended the training received twenty cuttings of OFSP to plant in their home gardens.
Source: ARC-Vegetable, Industrial and Medicinal Plants Newsletter – published 11 March 2022