African leafy vegetables (ALV): Experiences of promotingresearch and improving marketing channels in Kenya Yasuyuki Morimoto Ph.D. Diversity for Livelihood Program Bioversity International
Who are we?• A global organization dedicated to agricultural biodiversity research for:-• Better nutrition, sustainable farming practices and conservation and use of diverse genetic resources and food types.• Biodiversity research for development• Part of the CGIAR (Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research), a global partnership of 15 organizations.
Where we workA staff of over 300 operating from over 20 locations around the world
Evolution of Bioversity• Created in 1974• First decade: Collecting• 1985-1992: Research in conservation• 1992-2003: Conservation for use and expansion (in situ, FGR, Musa, coconut…)• After 2004: Deployment of diversity and conservation
Overview of talk• Diversity and importance of African Traditional Vegetables• Promoting African vegetables Phase 1 and 2.• Conclusion 5
Rich diversity of wild foods in KenyaIn Kenya, 850 species indigenous food plants. vegetables constitute the second largest group in diversity• 400 fruit species (about 50%)• 210 leafy vegetable speciesMaundu at el, survey 1999
Proportion of cultivated and wild vegetable species in Kenya • Number of Proportion of cultivated documented and wild species species: 210 1.9% Cultivated 7.1% only Cultivated and wild Wild only 90% 6
African leafy vegetables in Kenya• In Kenya, many tribal groups Coast province have their own traditional vegetables• but the majority are used across many cultural groups 8Nyanza province
African leafy vegetables cont.. Cat Whiskers is used in coastal and western Kenya but was not known as a vegetable among communities living in central Kenya.Leafy amaranths are widelyused by most communities inKenya
Advantage: Traditional Vegetables• High nutritional value• Suited to local conditions• Minimal (inexpensive) inputs (especially pesticides)• Knowledge on processing available• Part of local cultural heritage• Available locally• Many types, hence potential to diversify diets and earn income 11
The Role of Agrobiodiversity• Conventional view – As a source of traits for crop and livestock improvement• Currently: – A key for sustainable agriculture – As a source of resilience and stability against biotic and abiotic threats. – As a source of increased income and improved livelihoods, especially in marginal areas – As a source of better nutrition – As a valuable contribution to sustaining cultural, ethnic traditions and identity
Nutrition Transition and Health • Urbanization and globalization • Energy-rich diet based on refined carbohydrates • Kenya: increased fats and oils, decreased pulses and legumes • Senegal: oils and fats up from 8% (1963) to 20% (1998)
ALV Project: activities in Phase I (1996-2000)• Through documenting the species used and local production systems,• identifying key constraints in production, marketing and consumption. – Wild, cultivated or both wild and cultivated – Seasonality – Use of produce e.g home consumption, marketing• identifying priority species for development, commercialization and use. 14
Outcomes in phase 1• Diversity of local vegetable species documented• Ethnobotanical data collected for use in prioritization work• Constraints identified• Priority vegetables identified – 24 species of national importance identified in Kenya – Prioritization was done on the basis of regional priority, marketability & importance in the household 15
Situation at the start of project (1996)• The traditional vegetables were generally not valued and were often associated with poverty and backwardness.• Traditional vegetables had been neglected in research, extension and formal market. This is blamed on historical reasons which had resulted in poor interest in them.• Markets not well developed hence ALVs rare in markets• Declining vegetable diversity in diets as people turned to a few, more commercialized introduced 16 types.
Situation at the start--continued• In Kenya people preferred cabbage and a local kale known as sukuma wiki. 17
ALV Project: activities in Phase II (2001-2006)• Joint plant exploration to collect germplasm• Seeds distribution (to farmers near Nairobi)• Training farmers (agronomy, farming as a business, seed production)• Market linkages• Recipe documentation and dissemination• Promotional and awareness campaigns through food fairs, educational material, lectures.• Key focus: Value chain development: production, marketing and promotion of consumption all supported by research.
Partners• 15 institutions led by Bioversity International• NARIS, Universities, NGOs, government ministries, the private sector and community groups 19
Improvement of quality materialResearch stations involved farmers in evaluation work (PPB, PVS).• Taste• Performance• Seed treatment / cleaning• Adaptability to enviromentImproving availability of the materialsSeed supply and agronomy and training for cleaner, high-quality produce
Improving availability of the information Farmers were involved in Indigenous Knowledge documentation• Farmers documenting cowpea local knowledge (Kyanika, Kitui) 21
Vegetable Promotion Work• From 2003, the multi-institutional team organized series of promotional events: Minister of Culture flagging off a multi- 22 institutional walk
Promotion techniques• Campaigns (Walk) along 2003 the streets of Nairobi.• Education and awareness material (T-shirt, brochures, banners, posters)• Use of the media (FM radios, TV stations)• Food fairs and cultural events involving farmer groups, large hotels and serving local foods. 23
Leafy vegetables promotion in Nairobi supermarket•Partnered with Family Concern(NGO) and Uchumi Supermarket.•Leaflets to educate shoppers.Supermarkets gave the vegetables a positive image hence salesin informal markets rose tremendously.
Major Outcomes• In 2001, only Uchumi Supermarkets were selling ALVs. In 2009, 4 other major supermarket chains sell the traditional leafy vegetables.• Supermarket sales increase 1100% in two years (2001-2003).• Most people in Nairobi have access to local vegetables.• About 1000 smallholder farmers organized into business groups and selling vegetables around Nairobi.
Major Outcomes cont.• Industry in 2006 employs over 10,000 people, mainly women in Nairobi. 53% of sellers sited increased demand as the reason for coming into the business (Irungu et al 2006).• Most people attributed the increased interest to increased health and nutrition awareness.
Outcomes cont.1. Change of attitude.2. More valued, more demand.3. Higher incomes for women traders and farmers.4. Conservation benefits 28
Applying the ALV model in new area (Dietary Diversity Project: 2008-2011)• The model was applied in Kitui area of Eastern Kenya from 2008 – but with strict monitoring.• Flagship vegetables are Leafy amaranth and African nightshade.• Transdisciplinarity• Gender mainstreaming• Involves capacity building along value chain (producers, traders, consumers).• Promotion. Communicate the relevance of Nairobi experience.• Monitoring/ research at all levels (farm, household, market, 29 consumer).
Research Hypotheses of DD project 2008-20111. When access to local, nutrient-rich seeds is facilitated, and agronomic, nutrition and conservation training is provided, communities adopt the seeds and practices that enable diversified production.2. The increased demand of local foods by communities due to nutrition education and awareness, creates increased supply in markets (aided by agronomic training).3. When diversity on farm increases, households have increased dietary diversity and quality.4. When nutrition education is complemented with agronomic training, under five children’s nutritional and health status improves.5. When agronomic training and nutrition education are provided, shifts in perceptions and gained knowledge will lead to higher acceptance of new agropractices, new varieties and diverse consumption.
FRAMEWORK SHOWING EFFECT OF INTERVENTIONS ONSPECIFIC PARAMETERS Agrobiodiversity AgrobiodiversityIntervention Variety/no of spp and varieties cultivated and gatheredLink to Market Socio-economic statusInformation Cropping system Farm ing system Wealth Access to knowledge Intervention New crops and varieties Access to markets Nutritionl/Health status Info on farming practices BMI and MUAC of Frequency of inf ections (Morbidity rate) in child and caretaker Growth indicators of Num ber of food groups consumed (e.g cereals) Num ber of varieties consum ed in Intervention 24 hrs, 7days, 1m onth, 1 year Dietary diversity Recipes Variety of dishes
Agrobiodiversity for developmentCereals Pulses Fruits Vegetables Roots and Medicines and Genetic tubers Health resourcesBeverages