INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL VEGETABLES IN UGANDA (A PRELIMINARY REPORT)
In this paper the term 'local vegetables' is used to cover those plants which occur naturally throughout many districts of Uganda and which are used in the diet in a variety of ways. Some of these may be 'indigenous' while others are 'introduced'.
In general, the nutritional value of vegetables and fruit which occur locally has not been sufficiently emphasized. This paper is a review of previous work on the subject and includes an outline of the present studies which are being carried out at Bukalasa Agricultural College.
The only available published work on local vegetables in Uganda is that of Purseglove (1943). There was a shortage of vegetables at that time and Purseglove advocated the use of 'native spinaches and pot-herbs'. He described the botanical features of 43 different kinds of plants which are used in the diet and included the common pot-herbs or green leafy vegetables in addition to plants with edible roots and seeds which are used as vegetables. No reference was made to edible fruits or mushrooms. Most of the data collected referred to the Western Region, but almost no reference was made to Eastern or Northern regions. Bennett et al (1965) published an exceedingly valuable article on the foods used by the Baganda and included a summary of the main dishes eaten and their methods of preparation. This summary was compiled from information gained by interviewing people and by reference to related sources. The authors of this paper were interested in providing a base line from which dietry changes may be evaluated and also intended to furnish concise data from which programmes of adaptation could be formulated. All the data collected refers to one region, Buganda, and is concerned chiefly with the foods used in the diet and methods of preparation and cooking of the dishes most commonly eaten by the people of Buganda.
In addition to these publications there are other published and unpublished sources of information. These are available at the Government Nutrition Unit, Kawanda Research Station and Nsamizi Training Centre. A most useful guide to these articles is the Bibliography on Nutrition and Food Supply in Uganda, compiled by Brock, McCrae and Sharman (1967).