Sweet Potato Project

The Sweet Potatoes Project is a one-year consulting contract under Helen Keller International with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the project is to improve food security by promoting and facilitating the production and consumption of sweet potatoes, both white-fleshed and orange-fleshed varieties. 

The vines provided in the Sweet Potatoes Project provide a crop that is high yielding, virus-free and more robust than regular potatoes grown in Tanzania.  Sweet potatoes contain higher levels of important nutrients than regular potatoes, including vitamin A and C, protein, iron and calcium. The orange-fleshed varieties contain especially high levels of beta-carotene, a nutrient that converts into a type of vitamin A, which is important for growth and combating blindness. Finally, the project aims to connect farmers to a sustainable source of income.

T-MARC’s role in the project is to develop a communication strategy that creates demand for sweet potatoes in the local population of the lake regions.  T-MARC will also be responsible for monitoring indicators.

Project Summary

Intervention area(s): Economic development and nutrition

Objectives:  Improve food security and nutritional health

Donor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Prime partner: Helen Keller International

Geographic focus: Mwanza, Kagera and Mara regions

Target market/audience: Consumers in the lake regions, farmers and policy makers

Activities: Develop a communications strategy and plan, monitor indicators

Timeframe: Through October 2011