Pathways to improve nutrition security through horticulture in a coffee based farming system: the case of 'Yayu' biosphere reserve area of Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, horticultural crops offer a strong pathway to nutrition security. However, leveraging this potential requires a shift from a mono-cropping system to a more diversified production system. Integrating appropriate horticultural crops into farming systems appears to be feasible, increasing nutrition security, diversifying and intensifying agriculture and reducing pressure on natural habitats in biodiversity hotspots. The objectives of this paper are to analyze vegetable value chains and to examine the performance of actors in the chain as well as to assess and analyze the challenges and opportunities for vegetable production, marketing and consumption. The study was undertaken in two districts (Yayu and Hurumu) of the Yayu biosphere reserve area. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. The study identified that vegetable crops have a comparative nutrition security advantage over the production of other crops and can offer alternatives to the coffee-based economy. However, vegetable crop development is constrained by a multitude of technological, socio-economic and institutional challenges. The major challenges are: the lack of diversified or nutrition-sensitive farming systems; lack of improved technologies; weak collaboration between agricultural and health offices; traditional management practices; pests and diseases; poor postharvest management; and a lack of knowledge in nutrition-sensitive value chain approaches. There is a need to reshape the current production system into a more nutrition-diversified system. In addition, changing traditional production practices and beliefs about vegetables through intensive social behavioral change strategies are of paramount importance. Moreover, there is a need to strengthen vertical and horizontal linkages between vegetable value chain actors in the study area.
Teshome, A. and Dürr, J. (2018). Pathways to improve nutrition security through horticulture in a coffee based farming system: the case of 'Yayu' biosphere reserve area of Ethiopia. Acta Hortic. 1205, 147-156
value chains, vegetables, sustainability, production constraints, biodiversity