A team of lecturers in the Faculties of Food Science and Engineering, as well as their counterparts in Agricultural Sciences, have began efforts at seeking adoption and utilisation of Orange fleshed Sweet Potato (O.F.S.P), as crop and food in Oyo and Kwara states.
Led by the university’s Director of Quality Assurance, who coincidentally is a Professor of Food Science, Professor Aishat Bolanle Akinwande, the group is embarking on creating awareness about the potentials of the specie as a means of enhancing the livelihood and nutrition of the masses in the Ogbomoso and Offa zones of both states.
The project, a multi disciplinary and multi-institutional one which harnesses the expertise of different researchers is jointly funded by the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and LAUTECH, Ogbomoso.
Akinwande who is the coordinator of the activities of the LAUTECH team spoke at the beginning of the awareness programme during the week at Odo-Oba, describing Orange fleshed Sweet potato as an excellent food security crop which is good for under-nutrition and micronutrient malnutrition.
According to her, the food product is a good source of energy that is well accepted by small children and adults and enhances growth and immunity, while also preventing blindness, decreasing mortality, especially in children.
Speaking on the advantages of the food product over most other staple food, the coordinator of both on-farm adaptation and institutional based research at both zones, Dr. Timothy Olabiyi, said the OFSP is less labour intensive and easy to cultivate with growth on marginal soil, and fairly drought resistant when established