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INDIGENOVEG — Result In Brief

Project ID: 15101
Funded under: FP6-INCO

Eat your vegetables!

Indigenous vegetables, i.e. those native to a region, can be betterdo wonders for the diet, agriculture, economy and environment. An EU initiative in Africa has already started demonstrating the soundness of this philosophy.
Eat your vegetables!
Africa is an underprivileged continent despite its natural resources, and in the spirit of global stewardship Europe is extending a helping hand to the continent in different ways. One of these projects is supporting farmers and local agriculture by reinforcing the importance of indigenous vegetables and seeds, rather than exporting foreign varieties.

This has been addressed with by the EU-funded project 'Networking to promote the sustainable production and marketing of indigenous vegetables through urban and peri-urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa' (Indigenoveg). These vegetables can play an important role in satisfying the African diet, supporting the economy and respecting the environment.

The project established a forum where partners shared information and disseminated best practice to scientists, policymakers, consumers and farmers. The workshop at the end of the project in 2008 prepared draft policy recommendations for international donors and development agencies, as well as governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector.

These recommendations were presented to policymakers from different various African countries at the workshop and tailored to each one in separate workgroups. In addition, the Indigenoveg book was published, covering local varieties of plants and vegetables such as Ethiopian mustard, African cabbage, okra, jute, pigweed, Ethiopian eggplant and others. It discusses cultivation practices, nutrition, uses, recipes and much more.

The results of this project have the potential to improve the livelihood of local populations, alleviate poverty, empower women who are more involved in cultivation and stoke the local economy. Increased possibilities in marketing, commerce and export may also arise from the project's recommendations, and a more sustainable feeding pattern in parts of Africa could emerge. Going indigenous is the road to a brighter future.

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