Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato: Successes and Remaining Challenges of the Introduction of a Nutritionally Superior Staple Crop in Mozambique.
BACKGROUND: Chronic vitamin A deficiency affects both women and children in Mozambique and populations worldwide and cannot be addressed through supplementation alone. Food-based approaches encouraging the consumption of vitamin A-rich foods, such as the orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), have the potential to positively affect vitamin A status. A range of OFSP varieties have been introduced in sub-Saharan Africa in rural and urban environments and emergency and nonemergency contexts.
OBJECTIVE: To highlight the successes to date and remaining challenges of the introduction of OFSP to increase vitamin A consumption in Mozambique, collating a timeline of key events.
METHODS: A systematic review of literature using The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.
RESULTS: The systematic search resulted in 20 studies that met inclusion criteria. Data extracted include author and year, study location and duration, project partners, project title, sample size and characteristics, objectives, methods and measures, and outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are widely accepted by Mozambican farmers and consumers, and various studies show a positive impact on vitamin A status due to the introduction of this nutritionally superior staple crop. Remaining challenges include vine preservation, pest and disease management, market development, and storage and processing.