Dataset for: Nutritious Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotat (OFSP) For Niassa – Baseline Household Survey

Relevant information on the challenges and opportunities of the project were considered for the benefit of the project results. In fact, most of the findings from the study were used as the baseline reference for evaluating the impact of the project’s intervention in the project target areas three years later, including activities on seed system, crop sales, marketing, nutrition and food security in general.
This baseline survey was conducted between from July 8 to August 23, 2013, and overall, 396 households were visited in 24 villages distributed across the 8 districts surveyed. Overall, about 90% of the farmers interviewed in the present study had agriculture as the most important activity. Among the farmers who mentioned sweetpotato, only about 12% of the households produced OFSP due to earlier dissemination efforts by IIAM and partners. However, only 2.3% of households’ total landholding was under sweetpotato, while 1.3% was plated with OFSP. Although the high number of farmers producing sweetpotatoes, the area under production is relatively small, with an average of 300 m2 per household. In general, sweetpotato was mostly (79%) produced for consumption, while 21% of the interviewees mentioned the sale.
Overall, farmer-to-farmer exchange of planting material was the most important source of sweetpotato planting material. Most farmers obtain sweetpotato planting material from their own plots (69%). However, some considerable farmers depend on vines from neighbors (23%), and about 7% from relatives. There was not any reference related to the selling of planting material. In seed system, vine conservation is one of the critical activities during the sweetpotato production cycle. Vines must be read for planting even after a long dry season. According to the results from this study, most (65%) of sweetpotato is planted 2-3 after the beginning of the raining season. At this moment, vines must be ready for planting. In general, the majority (94%) of sweetpotato farmers usually conserve their vines. The typical methods of conservation include leave some portions of the plot without harvesting (60%) for later sprouting, establish small fenced plots in lowlands (28%), and conservation in small plots near their houses (15%).
Important to note was the fact that most of the selling of the fresh roots was conducted in local marketplaces (64%) as opposed to the farm gate (6%). This means that most of the farmers had to transport their products to local markets and other places in the urban (30%) areas to sell their produce.
Vitamin A knowledge, farmers’ practices, attitude and perception on sweetpotato was further assessed. One of the most important objectives of this project is to address vitamin A deficiency through the consumption of OFSP. Overall, both male (70%) and female (66%) have heard about vitamin A. Although not important, in general, the results indicate that there were slightly more men than women informed about vitamin A among the respondents of this study. The most important source vitamin A information for the women was the health unit (50%), while for the men was the radio (44%) program aired in local language. In general, the use of radio with programs in local languages is more effective for men than women, while, most of the women can be effectively reached by using the heath unit.

Replication Data for: MAMA SASHA Monitoring Data

A step toward improving the supply of nutrient-rich foods in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA), a five-year action research project led by the International Potato Centre (CIP) designed to improve the food security and livelihoods of poor families by addressing the bottlenecks preventing the full exploitation of sweetpotato’s potential. The agriculture-health linkages proof-of-concept project in Western Province of Kenya, known as Mama SASHA, was one of the SASHA’s proof-of-concept projects. It was implemented in partnership with PATH, a leading non-governmental international organization in health, the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), local agriculture and health government stakeholders in Western Province, and two local implementing NGO agriculture partners, i.e. the Community Research in Environment and Development Initiatives (CREADIS) and the Appropriate Rural Development Agriculture Programme (ARDAP).
The Mama SASHA project was set in Bungoma county in Kenya’s Western Province. The overall project goal was to improve the health status of pregnant women and the nutritional status of children up to two years through an integrated OFSP and health service-delivery strategy. Mama SASHA was integrated into USAID/Kenya AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance Program (APHIA II; then APHIA Plus), which was responsible for improving health services for pregnant women and mother-child pairs across the 2 counties of Bungoma and Busia Thus, the four control group facilities offered the standard APHIAplus training and sensitization on Infant and Young Child Nutrition services, but without the pregnant women’s groups, vouchers, or support for the production of OFSP. The two Kenyan agricultural NGOs, ARDAP and CREADIS, each supported the communities affiliated with two health facilities.
This meta-data focuses on the monitoring data collected over the 5 year period of the intervention. Briefly, the intervention was conducted at two levels with health facilities and communities, the facility catchment area being randomly assigned to either four intervention areas or control areas. In the intervention catchment areas: (1) Health workers (HWs) at the facilities were trained in nutritional benefits of OFSP and vitamin A rich foods in general and nutrition for pregnant and lactating mothers, including topics on breastfeeding and complementary child feeding practices. They subsequently provided pregnant women who came for antenatal and postnatal care services with key nutrition education messages (implemented using a flip-chart with clear designs and messages), including information about OFSP and vouchers to access OFSP vines from community level planting material decentralized vine multipliers (DVMs). (2) At the community level, community health workers (CHWs) were trained in the same topics as HWs, and pregnant women clubs were set up with monthly dialogue sessions facilitated by CHWs. The pregnant women were supplied with OFSP vines if they presented the vouchers to DVMs who were trained in OFSP rapid vine multiplication technique and OFSP production issues. The monitoring data covered activities at both the health and community levels through a collection of forms as highlighted in Impact Pathway document.
Disclaimer: Due to the weakness in assigning unique antenatal care (ANC) number for the beneficiaries, the data therefore inherited that weakness in government system and presented challenges during analysis.

Replication Data for: Marando Bora Project Baseline Survey

The Marando Bora (MB) project was implemented by the International Potato Center (CIP) in collaboration with 12 other partners in the Lake Zone region, Tanzania from October 2009 to June 2012. The project’s aim was to improve the quantity and quality of food for 150,000 Tanzanian households in the Lake Zone region by strengthening the availability and accessibility of quality planting material of improved and local sweetpotato varieties. The specific objectives of the MB project were to provide: i) high yielding and consumer preferred sweetpotato varieties; ii) orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OSFP) varieties with adequate supplies of beta-carotene to tackle Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) problem; iii) disease free planting materials for increased root and vine production; iv) timely access to vines for early planting; v) training for decentralized vines multipliers (DVMs) and farmers about vines conservation and maintenance of vine quality; vi) communication products to enhance awareness about benefits of using disease-free vines, benefits of OFSP varieties, and sources of quality sweetpotato vines. The MB project’s theory of change (TOC) was to improve food and nutrition security and enhance farmers’ incomes by implementing several activities including production and distribution of clean planting materials; training farmers’ about vines conservation; training of farmer multipliers and provision of improved white and orange fleshed SP varieties among others.
The Marando Bora Baseline survey objective was to address the main problems associated with sweetpotato vine availability and distribution by developing a sustainable seed system for sweetpotato. It used voucher and mass distribution strategies to address these problems. Using decentralized vine multipliers in the communities and mass distribution, the project ensured timely access to planting vines at the beginning of the rainy season.