Shackled Orange: Biofortified Varieties in the Sweetpotato Commodity Chain in Mozambique

  •  Roland Brouwer    
  •  Ilaria Tedesco    


Biofortified, orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) varieties are being promoted as a part of a strategy to reduce Vitamin A Deficiency among rural and urban populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper uses the commodity chain approach to understand whether markets may stimulate or not the production of the new orange sweetpotato varieties on Mozambique’s main consumer market, Maputo, its capital and largest city. It shows that the chain linking rural producers to the city’s consumers is operated by private actors; the government provides basic infrastructures and price information. International donors are involved through the dissemination of planting material and nutrition information in support the marketing of OFSP. The commodity chains of white and orange-fleshed varieties are entwined with no clear price differences. The annual marketed volume is estimated at 8,000 tonnes, mostly produced by smallholders and sold to consumers by sidewalk and open-air market retailers. This market segment is dominated by women. A small group of specialized - male and female - commercial OFSP producers supplies about 0.5% to 1% of this market selling directly to a specific group of clients who either buy at farm gate or through home delivery. The conclusion is that the existing commodity chain fails to stimulate the production of OFSP and the expansion of its benefits to wider sections of the population suggesting that the emphasis should be on having biofortified varieties that can compete successfully with the conventional ones at the farm-level.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-050X
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0518
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: quarterly

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