This 5-minute presentation by James Simon in 2016, explains this project's focus on nutrition and African vegetables in Kenya and Zambia. View this on YouTube instead.
Improving nutrition with African indigenous vegetables
Project Title: Improving Income and Nutrition of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Africa Using a Market Driven Approach to Enhance Value Chain Production of African Indigenous Vegetables
Target Country: Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania
- James Simon, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- Daniel Hoffman Rutgers
- Stephen Weller, Purdue University
- Ramu Govindasamy, Rutgers
- Benjamin Andama and Naman Nyabinda, AMPATH Family Preservation Initiative, Kenya
- Linnet Serenge Gohole, University of Eldoret, Kenya
- Martins Odendo and Christine Ndinya, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kakamega (KALRO-Kakamega), Kenya
- Emil van Wyk, AgriSmart, Zambia
- Himoonga Bernard Moonga and John Shindano, University of Zambia
- Fekadu Dinssa, Victor Afari-Sefa and Hassan Mndiga, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, Tanzania
- Rodolfo Juliani, Balagaru Perumalsamy, William Sciarappa, Rick VanVranken and Qingli Wu, Rutgers, USA
- Steve Yaninek, Andrea Burniske and Steve Hallett, Purdue University, USA
This project's research will support and strengthen African indigenous vegetable industries using a market-first, science-driven approach that connects stakeholders along the value chain. Vegetables will vary within countries based upon market demand and nutritional benefits, potentially including amaranth, moringa, African eggplant, Ethiopian mustard, African nightshade, and spiderplant.
Focus areas include greater access to quality seed and markets, improved production, postharvest handling, value addition and increased knowledge of vegetable health benefits. Value chain interventions will improve production and streamline movement of produce from farm to table while addressing food, nutrition, income insecurity, and gender inequality. Activities will characterize nutrient levels from improved germplasm, production, harvesting and postharvest handling of fresh and prepared indigenous vegetables focusing on vitamin and mineral composition, bioactive phytochemicals and anti-nutritive factors.
Surveys will track household consumption examining whether diets containing African indigenous vegetables improve nutrition and health of targeted malnourished populations. Strategies will target smallholder farmers, wholesalers, distributors, supermarkets, hotels, lodges and urban consumers/buyers of African indigenous vegetables. Our approach will bridge information gaps through cooperation with farmer groups, consumers, government, researchers, NGOs, produce distributors, supermarkets and the processing industry while introducing creative new technologies addressing issues of food, health, nutrition and income insecurity, gender inequality as the AIV value chain is strengthened and new product commercialized.
This project builds on previously completed projects:
- Strengthening value chain for African indigenous vegetables: Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia (led by Stephen Weller)
- Increasing production of indigenous African leafy vegetables in Kenya, Tanzania (led by Stephen Weller)
- Improving postharvest practices with local market support: Zambia (led by James Simon)
- Improving vegetable quality with local market support: Zambia (led by James Simon)
Presentations by James Simon of Rutgers:
- From 2017 Annual Meeting: Lessons learned from improving nutrition and income with African indigenous vegetables (PDF)
- From 2016 Annual Meeting: "Indigenous vegetables for nutrition in Zambia and Kenya" (PDF)
Watch the 5-minute video version of this talk