Kenya: IOM introduces drought resistant potato in Somalia

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - In a bid to mitigate the impact of persistent drought, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with Rural Education and Agriculture Development Organization (READO), a local non-governmental organization, is introducing a drought resistant variant of sweet potatoes in Somalia.

The latest drought has left over 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, IOM said in a press statement on Friday

The project mainly targets internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the host community in Baidoa, southwestern Somalia, who will be trained to grow the potatoes before being issued with a set of vines to plant on their own farms.

The sweet potato variant, commonly referred to as 'orange flesh sweet potato' is suitable for growth in regions with minimal rainfall.

Additionally, the variant is nutrient rich in Vitamin A and will help boost nutrition among malnourished children and within IDP households.

READO Executive Director Abdullahi Abdirahman Ali welcomed introduction of the potato variant saying it would be of "great value to the community as it will help to improve the livelihood of IDPs. We urge other international organizations and local partners to support the initiative, as this will help in mitigating drought issues in Somalia.”

-0- PANA DJ/AR 24Feb2017

24 february 2017 13:58:09

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