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HARD TIMES: Malawians surviving on Mbatata

A snap survey by Malawi Voice has revealed that a majority of Malawians from both rural and urban areas are surviving on sweet potato locally known as ‘Mbatata’.

The survey indicates that a majority of Malawians cannot afford to buy Bread which cost over MK1, 500.

“Bread akudula kusiyana ndi mbatata. Ndi K500 yokha tikumatha kugula mulu wa mbatata kudya m’mawa komanso madzulo,” says a Blantyre resident Mphatso Phiri.

According to webmd.com, one sweet potato gives person 400% of the vitamin which is needed each day.

“This helps keep your eyes healthy as well as your immune system, your body’s defense against germs,” says webmd.com.

While Sweet potato has apparently come as a ‘liberator’ to majority of Malawians, one of India’s most trusted online pharmacies warns that if consumed in excess, sweet potatoes can result in Vitamin A toxicity which is manifested in skin rashes and headaches.

“Due to high fibre content, excess intake of sweet potatoes can result in bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea,” reads one of PharmEasy studies on its website.

The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae.

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