Rutgers University (US); USAID/AMPATH Project, Moi University (Kenya); AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center (Tanzania); Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP) (Zambia)
Stephen Weller; Maria Marshall; James Simon
Pamela Obura; Chris Ojiewo; Petrus Langenhoven
This research project seeks to support and strengthen the African indigenous vegetable (AIV) industry using a market-first approach to overcoming constraints along the value chain, leading to improved production practices, supply, postharvest handling, distribution and consumer acceptance of AIVs in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.Key pieces of the project are development of strong public-private sector partnerships that ensure activities support the needs of consumers and markets. These partnerships will involve germplasm evaluation, development of sustainable production techniques, seed production/saving techniques, improved market access and building stakeholder capacity through outreach programs at all levels of the AIV value chain.
This project will both characterize nutritional attributes of AIVs as well as create awareness of health and nutritional benefits of AIVs through household and market surveys and educational programs about nutrition. The project will bridge information gaps through research and promotional activities cooperating with private sector, farmer groups, government, research and non-governmental organizations to build confidence in AIV production and enhance farmer adoption. Project activities will build capacity of African universities and institutions involved in research and training of extension personnel who serve the farm community. Improved indigenous vegetables will provide nutritional complements to diets.
The approach promotes biodiversity and sound environmental management while providing affordable, edible foods that can be grown/processed locally and are tailored to local dietary needs. Activities will result in improved income generation, new microenterprises across the value chain, improved availability of nutritious AIVs for consumption and overall improved quality of life.