Household consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato and its associated factors in Chipata District, Eastern Province Zambia
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BACKGROUND: The Integrating Orange Project promotes production and consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) to address vitamin A deficiency among rural populations of Zambia since 2011. OBJECTIVE: This study assessed household production and consumption of OFSP and identified factors associated with consumption thereof in Integrating Orange Project areas in Chipata district, Zambia. METHODS: Respondents of 295 randomly selected households were interviewed using a structured questionnaire during the sweet potato harvest season. Associations between OFSP consumption and household factors were assessed using w2 tests. RESULTS: Frequency of OFSP consumption was categorized as 4 days during the last 7 days (30.2%), 1 to 3 days during the last 7 days (49.5%), eats OFSP but not during the last 7 days (7.1%), and never (13.2%). In total, 60.3% of households planted OFSP, and 40.0% bought OFSP, mostly from farmers within the community. Orange-fleshed sweet potato consumption was associated with the presence of children aged less than 5 years in the household (P ¼ .018), production of OFSP (P < .001), purchasing of OFSP (P < .001), and respondent having knowledge on health benefits of OFSP (P ¼ .014). Age and sex of the household head and household size had no association with OFSP consumption (P > .05). CONCLUSION: A high percentage of households consumed OFSP during the harvesting season in Integrating Orange Project areas. Programs promoting OFSP consumption should thus focus on OFSP production and sensitizing households on nutritional benefits of OFSP and target households with children aged less than 5 years as entry point.