We met with a representative from the Helen Keller International (HKI) on May 22nd. HKI is a non-profit that works to combat blindness in developing countries by promoting the growth and consumption of sweet potatoes, a great source of vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A is the leading cause of blindness in developing countries. HKI works in conjunction with the Centro Internacional de Papas (CIP), which in English translates to the International Center for Potatoes.

The main objectives of this collaboration are:
1. Breeding potatoes high in vitamin A for different climates and soil zones
2. Creating weevil-resistant potatoes (weevils are the main pest of sweet potatoes)
3. Creating seed networks; spreading quality materials
4. Creating effective delivery mechanisms
5. Management and capactiy strengthening

One of the proposed initiatives of HKI/CIP include reaching out to women's clinics and giving pregnant women redeemable vouchers to receive sweet potatoe seed/vines to plant during the next growing season after their child is born. Sweet potatoe can be especially attractive to mothers to use a weaning food. Children only need consume 125g of sweet potatoe per day (a child-size handful) in order to meet their daily requirement.

Written By: Alayna Blalock

10/1/2013 03:26:00 pm

Management and capactiy strengthening


Leave a Reply.