Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

African Voices: Indigenous Vegetables

This video, by D. Nierenberg, B. Pollack involves an interview with Sokona Dagnoko World Vegetable Centre.


East African Indigenous Leafy Vegetables

Wild Living Resources Business Park is a practical and commercially viable working model of integrated land use that has realistic potential to create tangible livelihoods whilst conserving the natural resource base. The Business Park provides demonstration, the first of its kind in Eastern Africa, and a practical in-situ training facility for the capacity building of rural communities, and public and private sector support agencies. Located on 130 acres, it includes a model for the fully working integrated demonstration of six (rising to eleven) natural resource use and livelihood options, including one on East African Wild Leafy Vegetables.


Sustainable production and diversity of African indigenous vegetables: Collaborative Crop Research Program

This website describes a project targeting development of mechanisms for sustainable production, utilization and management of genetic diversity of indigenous vegetables in Uganda. There is a group of green leafy vegetables that are traditional and easy to grow. Yet more "exotic" vegetables such as tomatoes and cabbage have been introduced into the African diet, and farmers prefer to grow them as cash crops. This project aims to contribute to food security and nutrition in Uganda by encouraging people to conserve, grow, and use the indigenous leafy vegetables. The project aims to acquire information on the state of current indigenous knowledge and assess the nutritional value of indigenous vegetables', which is assumed to be superior to that of the more exotic vegetables. Once their nutritional value is known, the project is expected to move on to production technologies, genetic conservation, improving germination, crop and pest management, and post-harvest technologies.


Tropical and subtropical fruits and crops: Agricultural Research Council of South Africa

The Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops is one of the oldest institutes of the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. It is responsible for research on all aspects of the cultivation of tropical and subtropical crops. Assigned crops include: avocado, banana, citrus, coffee, ginger, granadillas, guavas, litchi macadamia nuts, mango, papaya, pecan nuts, and pineapple. Lesser-known exotic crops being evaluated are: pitanga, annona types, carambola and jaboticaba.


Improving food security in sub-Saharan Africa through increased utilisation of indigenous vegetables: studies on seed production and agronomy of major African vegetables

Details of a UK DFID project that aimed to increase household food security of resource poor groups and to enhance the productive potential of a number of selected African indigenous vegetables (AIVs).


IndigenoVeg - Networking to Promote the Sustainable Production and Marketing of Indigenous Vegetables through Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

IndigenoVeg is an EU Sixth framework programme Coordination Action, funded under priority FP6-2003-INCO-DEV-2 A.3.2 "Bio-diverse, bio-safe and value-added crops". The project, which started on the 1st of January 2006, ran for two years and six months.


New guide on fonio (Digitaria) by CIRAD

This book describes the fonio plant and its grains and provides information on miscellaneous cultivation and production systems in a variety of environments in Africa. It describes the principal traditional fonio production and processing techniques and suggests possible areas for improvement. It shows a keen interest in improved promotion of fonio, by touching on such aspects as preparation of new products, marketing and consumption.


The Plant List

The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species. Version 1 aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). Collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden enabled the creation of The Plant List by combining multiple checklist data sets held by these institutions and other collaborators. The Plant List provides the Accepted Latin name for most species, with links to all Synonyms by which that species has been known. It also includes Unresolved names for which the contributing data sources did not contain sufficient evidence to decide whether they were Accepted or Synonyms.


Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform

Food industries are the biggest purchasers of agricultural raw materials. In order to rely on a constant, increasing and safe supply of agricultural raw materials, these must be grown in a sustainable manner. In 2002 Nestlé, Unilever and Danone created the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, a non-profit organization to facilitate sharing, at precompetitive level, of knowledge and initiatives to support the development and implementation of sustainable agriculture practices involving the different stakeholders of the food chain. The SAI Platform today counts over 30 members, which actively share the same view on sustainable agriculture seen as a 'productive, competitive and efficient way to produce agricultural products, while at the same time protecting and improving the natural environment and social/economic conditions of local communities'. Among the latest services and deliverables produced, the SAI Platform published Principles and practices for the sustainable production of arable and vegetable crops, Principles and Practices for the sustainable production of Coffee, Fruit and Dairy; a Benchmark Study of Agriculture Standards and a Short Guide to Sustainable Agriculture.


Silvertorch: Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Seasonings of the Caribbean

This website is an online index and provides a list of important plants from the Caribbean, including their species names, health benefits, uses and history.


Plants of Southern Africa

There are more than 22,000 different species of seed plants indigenous to southern Africa. These are arranged into about 2,180 genera, which in turn form part of 227 families. Some of the more popular plants are described on this site.


African Food Staples

The website offers an alphabetic list of the 31 most common food staples, vegetables, herbs and spices in Africa. Under each product/staple is information concerning origin and use. Some historical information is also added under most of them.


Crops for the Future

The Crops for the Future website provides a range of information on publications, courses, projects and news relating to underutilised indigenous crops.


Caribbean Islands Overviews

Centres of Plant DiversityDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.An overview of the centres of plant diversity centred on the Caribbean Islands, with reference to Geology, Climate, Natural Vegetation: Flora, Useful plants, Factors causing loss of biodiversity, Conservation and Centres of Plant Diversity and Endemism


African Wild Harvest

The project started in 2002 following feedback from relief and development organisations to the Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL) project indicated a need for reliable information on the role of wild food plants in nutrition in developing countries. The aim of AWH is to promote the sustainable use of traditional food plants for diet diversification and improved nutrition in Africa, thereby contributing to the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s call for a ‘Cross-cutting initiative on biodiversity for food and nutrition’.


European project OrganicDataNetwork to improve organic market data

Key figures about the development of the organic sector are decisive for policy maker and market actors and as a basis for new investment decisions into the organic industry. In the past, most European countries have suffered from insufficient good quality data about the organic market. To create a new basis for consistent market figures, the EU has granted funds for a new research project called ‘Data network for better European organic market information’ (OrganicDataNetwork). (FiBL, 04/2012)


Horticulture Cultivars Performance Database (HORTIVAR)

Hortivar is FAO's database on performances of horticulture cultivars in relation to agro-ecological conditions, cultivation practices, the occurrence of pests and diseases and timing of the production. It covers six categories of horticultural crops: fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers, ornamentals, mushrooms, herbs and condiments.


A photo guide to West African plants

This interactive photographic guide helps users identify higher plants from West African ecosystems. It contains images of ferns and seed plants taken in the field. Browse through a taxonomic hierarchy and / or search according to selected characters observed on the plant of interest. The database currently contains 7686 photos and 1291 illustrated species. It contains photographs of plants from West Africa in a broad geographical sense, mainly from the savannah regions. It is possible to search for scientific or vernacular names via free text, browse through a taxonomic hierarchy starting with family names or select several morphological characters to access a result list of species with these characters. (Brunken, U., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Janssen, T., Thiombiano, A. & Zizka, G. 2008. West African plants - A Photo Guide. Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.)


Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Programme published online map

Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Programme (HortCRSP) published an online map of horticultural projects around the world. The webpage enables the user to search for project by theme, crop, or region.