Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of urbanisation in the world, with 50% of its population projected to be living in towns or cities by 2030. Urban consumers are therefore a significant and growing target audience for campaigns to promote indigenous vegetables. These species have many advantages, including low input requirements, adaptability to African environments, high nutritional value and good prospects for safeguarding local food security. Yet in spite of increased interest and research in recent decades, encouraging urban dwellers to grow and eat indigenous vegetables can often be an uphill struggle. This is partly due to image, since many traditional varieties are now perceived to be poor man’s food. Busier lifestyles mean that fewer consumers are prepared to invest the time needed to prepare them, while globalisation has increased economic opportunities for a limited number of commodities, leading to the marginalisation of local agro-biodiversity.

This book offers a comprehensive synthesis of all the issues surrounding indigenous vegetables in urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, including their use, management and potential to contribute to livelihoods. Chapters variously deal with nutritional content, production and harvesting systems and marketing, with case studies from Benin, Kenya and South Africa amongst others.

African Indigenous Vegetables in Urban Agriculture
Edited by A W Drescher, M W Pasquini & C M Shackleton
CTA/Earthscan, 2009. 298 pp.
ISBN 978-1-84407-715-1
CTA number 1537
40 credit points

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