Posted by Adaora Anozie

On September 3, 2015

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has presented 4,000 high yielding Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) vines and pumping machines to members of the Potato Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (POGPMAN), Niger and Osun  states’ chapters.

Director General, RMRDC, Dr Hussaini Doko Ibrahim while addressing farmers and stakeholders at the presentation ceremony held at the council’s headquarters in Abuja, said that the initiative was meant to promote development, production and use of improved planting materials of elite varieties of agro raw materials to bridge the gap between demand and supply in the country.

“To leverage on the potential contribution, which the beta carotene-rich Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato can bring to improving nutrition and food security in Nigeria, the council, under its boosting programme, is promoting the production of this crop,” Ibrahim stated.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Dr Eddy Nwaogu of the National Root Crop Research Institute, Umudike-Nyanya substation, which developed the technology, stressed that Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is a nutritious food for households, especially those with children below 5 years, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Nwoagu noted that Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is a valuable crop for the makers of baby food items, stressing that its richness in beta carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A, will solve deficiency problems in children.

President, Potato Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Bayo Ajibade, applauded the effort of RMRDC in scaling up elite varieties of crops in Nigeria, saying: “POGPMAN is particularly happy that RMRDC has uplifted POGPMAN with 2000 bundles of 100 vines each and 20 water pumps to water OFSP farms during the dry season in Niger and Osun states.”

In their appreciations, the Niger State Coordinator, Alhaji Umar Aliyu, and the Osun State Coordinator, Mr Olusegun Adepoju, expressed their gratitude to the council for providing them with the equipment and technology to be self-sufficient in orange fleshed sweet potato production in the country.

Culled from Agro Nigeria