Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is pervasive among young children; more than 125 million are estimated to suffer from VAD worldwide. In Mozambique, the prevalence among children ages 6 months to 5 years is estimated at over 70 percent. In such circumstances, food-based approaches may be appropriate and sustainable complements to supplementation and fortification programs. Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) is a strong candidate for this, as some varieties are very rich in beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A in plant sources. It is also well accepted by young children, a good source of energy, easy to cultivate, propagated vegetatively and fairly drought resistant once established. These characteristics make it an excellent food security crop.
Journal of Nutrition 137(5): 1320-1327
A Food-Based Approach Introducing Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes Increased Vitamin A Intake and Serum Retinol Concentrations in Young Children in Mozambique.