THE Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center of Benguet State University (BSU-NPRCRTC), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Agricultural Research, is promoting orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) in order to solve vitamin A deficiency in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Based on the survey conducted by researchers from BSU-NPRCRTC, it showed that there is low intake of Vitamin A in the Cordillera. According to the survey, the low intake of Vitamin A is due to lack of information on nutritional benefits of beta-carotene and vitamin A; lack of planting materials; and low production of Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato particularly in Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, Abra and Benguet.

With the foregoing, the researchers conducted a project which aimed to increase and expand production of orange fleshed sweetpotato in the Cordillera region, and enhance awareness on the nutritional benefits of sweet potato.

Part of the activities conducted to increase and expand production of orange fleshed sweet potato is the establishment of technology demonstration farms in the different sites of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mt Province, Benguet. These sites were planted with four orange fleshed sweet potato varieties suitable in the identified areas. These varieties include Beniazuma, Inmitlog, Taiwan, NSIC SP 30 which were found to produce high yields with good qualities. These planting materials of orange fleshed sweet potato is available at the BSU-NPRCRTC.

Furthermore, to enhance production and consumption, trainings, seminars, dispersals of plant materials and Instruction Educational Campaign (IEC) materials were implemented. Awareness on nutrition benefits of OFSP was also emphasized to the participants during trainings. The trainings conducted include the technique on mass production of sweetpotato thru rapid multiplication using single node cuttings wherein the trainees had a hands-on-demo.