Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr. Steve Weller - Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture - Purdue University
Topic: African Indgenous Vegetables (AIV's) for Food, Nutrition and Income Security of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Africa
When: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116
Abstract:

Results and impacts of our USAID Horticulture CRSP research which seek to support and strengthen the African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) industry will be discussed.  Using a market-first approach in this research allows success in overcoming constraints along the value chain, specifically, improved production practices, AIV supply, postharvest handling, distribution and consumer acceptability of AIVs in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.  Key ingredients are development of a strong public: private sector partnership that ensures activities support needs of consumers and markets and involve germplasm evaluation, development of sustainable production and seed production/saving techniques, nutritional analysis of AIVs, improved market access and building capacity of stakeholders through outreach programs at all levels of the AIV value chain. This project is characterizing nutritional attributes of AIVs as well as creating awareness of health and nutritional benefits of AIVs through household and market surveys and educational programs. Our research and promotional activities involve cooperation with private sector, farmer groups, government, research and NGO communities.  Activities help build capacity of African universities and institutions involved in research and training of extension personnel who serve the farm community. AIVs are an important component of nutritionally balanced diets in regions where health, especially HIV/AIDS, is a major constraint.  Our approach promotes biodiversity and sound environmental management in production while providing affordable edible foods that can be grown and consumed locally or processed. A primary aim is to improve income generation and offer opportunities for new microenterprises across the value chain through improved availability of nutritious AIVs for consumption and building a sustainable system for an overall improved quality of life. 

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