M.W. Pasquini, K. Weinberger, F. Assogba-Komlan, C. Kouamé, F. Akplogan, H. Djidji, E.G. Achigan-Dako, E.M. Young
Since the 1990s the benefits of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) have been widely recognized, and there has been extensive research characterizing UPA. However, most research has neglected the role played by indigenous underutilized species, even though increasingly it is recognized that promoting these species (which include African indigenous vegetables – AIVs), will be a crucial factor in the development of more resilient, sustainable farming systems for sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, although fewer varieties of AIVs are being used today, certain species are still very popular and in high demand. Understanding to what extent and how AIVs are currently being produced in UPA is an essential step towards developing a coordinated strategy for research and development efforts to support the production of these species. This paper analyses primary data on the production systems for AIVs in UPA in four West African cities: Cotonou and Lokossa in Benin, and Abidjan and Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire. The AIVs which contribute most to farmers’ income for both countries include Abelmoschus esculentus, Amaranthus spp., Corchorus olitorius and Solanum macrocarpon/S. aethiopicum. Certain locations appear to be specializing in particular AIVs, e.g., C. olitorius in Lokossa. In Côte d’Ivoire, urban locations had higher AIV diversity than peri-urban locations. Intercropping of the most commercially important AIVs was widespread in urban locations in Cotonou, Abidjan and Yamoussoukro. Pesticide use was common in all locations except in peri-urban Yamoussoukro. Inorganic fertilizer was used by 85-100% of farmers in UPA in Cotonou and Abidjan, and in urban Yamoussoukro. Organic inputs were used by over 90% of farmers in urban Cotonou, Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, mainly in the form of chicken manure. Comparison of production practices and farmer motivation suggest that production of AIVs in Benin is more market-oriented than in Côte d’Ivoire. The paper concludes with recommendations for future work.
Pasquini, M.W., Weinberger, K., Assogba-Komlan, F., Kouamé, C., Akplogan, F., Djidji, H., Achigan-Dako, E.G. and Young, E.M. (2014). CHARACTERISING URBAN AND PERI-URBAN PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR AFRICAN INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES IN FOUR CITIES IN BENIN AND CÔTE D'IVOIRE . Acta Hortic. 1021, 137-151
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1021.12
African indigenous vegetables, urban and peri-urban agricultural production systems, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, underutilized crops, Amaranthus spp., Corchorus olitorius, Solanum aethiopicum, Solanum macrocarpon, Vernonia amygdalina, West Africa

Acta Horticulturae