Gorakhpur (UP), Nov 4 (PTI) Around 50 farmers of Gorakhpur and Sant Kabir Nagar district are growing orange fleshed sweet potato to fight against malnutrition especially in children in the two adjoining districts.
The bio-fortified crop Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) is rich source of vitamin A.
The idea of cultivating OFSP was conceived by a native of Gorakhpur Ram Chet Chowdhary, a retired agricultural scientist who has worked in Uganda from 2006 to 2012 as assistant technical expert with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nation.
Chowdhary through an NGO is spreading awareness about OFSP and appealing children in schools to include the super food in their meals.
“While working in Uganda with the United Nations, I came to know about orange fleshed sweet potato which is a low priced crop of African countries and it is a big source of vitamin A and beta and it is almost 150 per cent higher than Vitamin A found in carrot, papaya, etc and that is why it is also known as super food," he told PTI Sunday.
This food can be helpful in fighting malnutrition in areas of eastern UP, he said adding that in 24 African countries, the food is used for tackling malnutrition and the results are 100 per cent.
“In 2015-16, we conducted a survey in Gorakhpur and Sant Kabir Nagar and found that around 51 per cent children between 3 and 12 years of age are suffering with eye diseases due to deficiency of Vitamin A. So we started cultivating the super food in 2013 with the help of few farmers and from 2014 to 2017, Tata Trust provided us aid," he said.
At present the cost of the super food OFSP is 30 per kg, but it is only available in local market near Ram Nagar Karjahan village area.
Some NGO-trained women are preparing 18 varieties of products with it but still it has not reached to big stores of the city.
Chowdhary is meeting government officials and ministers so that the OFSP could be adopted by the state as a miracle food. PTI COR SMI MKJ MKJ
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI