NETWORKING TO PROMOTE THE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND MARKETING OF INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES THROUGH URBAN AND PERI-URBAN AGRICULTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (INDIGENOVEG)
Indigenous vegetables (IVs) play an important role in the African diet, economy and environment. However, until recently they have not featured significantly in the research agendas of international or local organisations. The EU-funded IndigenoVeg is a network of leading EU and African researchers which aims to promote the production of IVs varieties in urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA). Its three operational objectives are to: 1) Co-ordinate and link existing research efforts on IVs and UPA by creating a forum where partners can share information on current progress, disseminate best practice, obtain feedback from their peers and refine and strengthen their on-going activities. 2) Develop targeted and relevant collaborative future research proposals. 3) Disseminate the outcomes of the network engaging with a wider audience, comprised of EU and sub-Saharan African scientists and policy makers. Activities under IndigenoVeg commenced in January 2006 and will culminate in an international conference to be held at Rhodes University, South Africa, in January 2008. This paper aims to provide an insight into the richness of discussion, as reflected in four double meetings held in the course of 2006, and the challenges of bringing together a network of institutions and individuals hailing from a wide diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, and negotiating acceptable compromises for collaboration. In particular, the paper will examine as a case study the small-scale surveys (developed to collect baseline data on IVs in UPA in each African partner country) and the passionate debates these generated, on priority objectives, the most appropriate methodology to be used, and differing understandings of what is urban and what is peri-urban. The paper will conclude by providing an overview of the 2007 programme and the 2008 conference, seeking the wider participation of the international community with an interest in IVs and UPA.
Pasquini, M.W. and Young, E.M. (2007). NETWORKING TO PROMOTE THE SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND MARKETING OF INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES THROUGH URBAN AND PERI-URBAN AGRICULTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA (INDIGENOVEG). Acta Hortic. 752, 41-48
thematic meetings, small-scale surveys, interdisciplinary research, policy lessons, dissemination tools