Indigenous African vegetable systems for better livelihoods in Kenya
Duration: August 2014 – August 2017. This project has been finalized.
Aim: Increase market access of the Africa indigenous vegetable to the local, national and international markets through improving their yield and quality and by establishing a robust marketing and marketing incentive system that responds to the smallholder farmer conditions.
Objective: Improved incomes for farmers and private sector marketing institutions.
Method: Develop organic based soil fertility amelioration strategies for improved production. New cultivars that are adapted to the environmental conditions will be assessed and promoted. Strategies that pick the products from the farm gate through the vegetable value chains will be developed.
Dutch policy goals: Increased sustainable agricultural production; More efficient markets; and A better business climate.
Summary of the results: The highly nutritious African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) also have a high capacity to tolerate weather stress and low input (fertilizer and pesticides) that is common among farmers in western Kenya. When consumed frequently, AIVs contributes to good nutrition with adequate supply of vitamins and minerals, a common form of malnutrition that hamper the functioning of various processes inside the body and negatively impact the health and survival of women and children. In spite of the enormous usefulness of these vegetables, their production and contribution to household incomes levels remain well below their potential. This project seeks to establish a robust AIV value chain and incentive system that responds to the smallholder farmer conditions to increase production and market access of AIVs. The Project is developed to exploit the comparative advantage resulting from the experience of the household in western Kenya in AIV production, presence of diverse germplasm and existence of local demand for IVs. The project will develop integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies to stimulate increase in production and develop AIV seed for improving produce quality, an essential requirement for market access. Efficient production and marketing systems will provide incentives for small-scale producers to invest in production of demand driven AIVs and AIV products and enable farmers’ access and respond to the dynamic market needs. The project outputs will lead to increase in household incomes and improvement of nutrition and food security in the Project area and urban markets in Kenya.