Uganda: Adding value to African vegetables

African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are considered a significant contributor to food security and nutrition for smallholder farmers in East Africa. They are also important as a source of income, particularly for women, although the farmers' capacity to meet a growing demand for vegetables is limited by lack of good quality seed.

A number of organisations in collaboration with National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro), is involved in plans to revive conservation of indigenous vegetables as a priority.

Cabi--Centre for Agricultural Biosciences International--is one such development partner. It promotes growing AIVs among farmers in East Africa. Cabi carries out a sensitisation of farmers to grow vegetables and promoting them as part of diet as well as an income-earning activity.

The vegetables include Amaranth species commonly known as Amaranthus dubius (dodo), Gynandropsis gynandra (African spider or nakkati), African eggplant, Hibiscus sabdariffa (Malakwang), Crotalaria ochroleuca (Alayu), Hibiscus esculentus (okra), Jute mallow (Otigo lwoka), Vigna unguiculata (cowpea for the leaves) Boo, Manihot esculentum (cassava for the leaves) and Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin for the leaves).

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