The dozen products made there, including bread, cakes, doughnuts and crisps, all share the same main ingredient: sweet potato. Owned and run by Meru Friends Sacco, a savings and credit co-operative, the facility in Maua town was established two years ago as a way to help people access nutritional food in a region where crops are routinely destroyed by drought. The co-operative’s members of more than 1,000 farmers were motivated by a UN report warning climate change and poverty were threats to health in the lower parts of Meru. After first considering bananas and Irish potatoes, the farmers settled on sweet potatoes because they are rich in Vitamin A and essential minerals. Interested farmers are provided with drought-tolerant, disease-resistant vines that have been propagated for the project by the Kaguru Agricultural Training Centre, under Meru county’s agriculture department.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE