Knowledge for Development

Vegetables to combat the hidden hunger in Africa

Author: Gérard Grubben

Date: 30/06/2014

Introduction:

In this article, published in Chronica Horticulturae, the journal of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), tropical agronomist Gérard Grubben from the Netherlands and co-founders of the Eastwest Seed Company sketches the scope of vegetable production for the domestic African markets and its importance for improvement of nutrition and health for the poorer population. Grubben notes that emphasis has remained on research and development of energy rich staple crops (cereals, tubers, pulses) and cash crops. Compared to tropical Asia, the vegetable sector in Africa is lagging behind as a result of weak research, breeding, training and extension services, an insufficient seed distribution network and low purchasing power. The author believes many policy makers ignore the nutritional and economic value of vegetables. For example, in countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal, high-tech vegetable production for export to Europe and the Arabia Peninsula or for the small supermarket segment in the regional big cities has been supported with ample donor funding. The huge traditional domestic market, of crucial importance for the nutrition of the increasingly urbanised population, is almost devoid of public support. Gérard Grubben is sharing a copy of the article on our website.   

(via Zunia.org, 02/05/2014)


 


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