Good Agricultural Practices for African Indigenous Vegetables
Over the next four decades, world population is projected to grow by almost one-third, to more than 9 billion people, of which almost 70 percent will be living in urban areas by 2050. To feed the growing population, farmers in the developing world must intensify and diversify food production, a challenge made even more daunting by the combined effects of climate change and growing competition for land, water and energy.
The intensification of production systems and their diversification to vegetable crops, especially indigenous vegetable species, could make a significant contribution to meeting increased demand for food. Indigenous vegetables are important to food security, nutrition and income in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa. However, owing to the lack of resources allocated for the development of the vegetable subsector, they have not received the attention they deserve. Until recently, research and development efforts have focused mainly on improving production systems for exotic vegetables, and have paid little attention to more diverse and abundant indigenous species and varieties, and the ways in which they are used.
The purpose of this publication is to assemble and disseminate existing knowledge on sustainable production and utilization of African indigenous vegetables. While it does not pretend to cover every species of African indigenous vegetable that contributes to food and nutrition security, it presents good agricultural practices and information on the utilization of those species that are most popular in the region. The Plant Production and Protection Division of FAO is committed to supporting initiatives and promoting synergies among organizations that promote the production and consumption of African vegetables species for improved livelihoods, health and incomes of vulnerable groups and local population in sub-Saharan Africa.
This publication is intended to inform policy and decision-making at national and regional levels; it will interest a wide range of readers including development organizations, NGOs as well as researchers and professionals in agriculture.
Shivaji Pandey, Director, Plant Production and Protection Division
FAO, Rome, Italy
Editors: R. Nono-Womdim, C. Ojiewo, M. Abang, Mel O. Olouch
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