Veggies for Planet and...
The Veggies for Planet and People project has started in Ethiopia. It is implemented...Read more
Enabling Vegetable Business Development in East Africa for more jobs and better human and environmental health
Vegetable consumption in sub-Saharan Africa are the lowest of any region in the world. This “vegetable gap” in Africa is an opportunity to create jobs and income and at the same time improve nutrition.
Vegetables have high contents of vitamins and minerals needed to address many types of micronutrient deficiencies while per hectare profits from vegetable production are more than those from staple food production.
Vegetable production, processing and marketing offer potential opportunities within the value chains; production requires only small amounts of land, it’s technology-savvy and high profits can be obtained in a relatively short period of time.
Production and productivity of vegetables in the region are severely affected by the lack of quality seeds, degraded and nutrient-deficient soils, pests and diseases which result in low crop yields and poor produce quality of smallholder farmers in Kenya and Ethiopia. Farmers indiscriminately and frequently apply chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which increases production cost and exposes people, animals and the environment to high levels of risk. Without sustainable use and management of land and soil resources, sustainable development and environmental sustainability are unlikely to be attained
Veggies for Planet and People (V4P&P) is a four year, (2020-2024), € 2M project funded by the IKEA Foundation and will be implemented in partnership with World Vegetable Center.
The project aims to take advantage of the “vegetable gap” in Kenya and Ethiopia to create jobs and income and at the same time improve nutrition. It will accomplish this by working toward a strong and competitive vegetable sub-sector through a combination of supply- and demand-side interventions.
The project will design, pilot and scale innovative regenerative vegetable production and post-harvest technologies and will in addition strengthen private seed sector in Ethiopia and Kenya, in alliance with the Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium. Value chain development will particularly emphasize Traditional African Vegetables (TAV) and other commercial vegetables cultivated predominantly in each country.
V4P&P will engage ‘business champions’ to guide the formation of Vegetable Business Networks (VBNs) of women and youth as they pursue collective action in vegetable production and marketing in urban and peri-urban areas. The champions will facilitate their networks with access to information, business development services, input/output markets, and serve as liaisons with local governments.
The project will strengthen enabling conditions for creating impact in the vegetable value chain through monitoring, evaluation and learning feedback loops; building capacity of partners in circular technologies and business development; and by targeted analysis of the value chains and the food systems drivers to enhance the effectiveness of the interventions
The project aims to establish 200 vegetable business networks (120 in Kenya, 80 in Ethiopia) to engage an estimated 4000 women and youth in market activities designed to improve their livelihoods and diets.
In Kenya the project is targeting the urban and peri urban areas surrounding Nairobi and Kisumu cities and will work with small holder farmers within a 120km radius around the cities in Kiambu, Murang’a, Machakos, Kajiado, Homabay, Nandi, Siaya, Vihiga and Kisumu counties. Project intervention areas will be mapped where irrigation facilities have been developed or where the government is investing in irrigation infrastructure. In Kenya, these areas will be drawing water from the Tana River, Athi River, including tributary rivers and streams, and rivers flowing into Lake Victoria.
Priority crops in Kenya will be Traditional African Vegetables (TAVs) such as Amaranth, African nightshade, Kale, Cowpea leaves, Pumpkin leaves, Slender leaf, Jute mallow among others. Other commercial vegetables such as Tomato, Swiss chard, Onions and Peppers will also be included.
In Ethiopia, the project is targeting farmers in the urban and peri urban areas surrounding Addis Ababa and will work with small holder farmers within a 120km radius of the city such as the Central rift valley and Willos areas.
Project intervention areas will be mapped where irrigation facilities have been developed or where the government is investing in irrigation infrastructure. The areas will be drawing water from the Omo River, Awash River, their tributaries, and the lakes in the Rift Valley south of Addis Ababa.
In Ethiopia, the diversity of vegetables consumed is very low. Priority crops in Ethiopia targets Tomato, Onion and Hot pepper as the major commercial crops including the Ethiopian Mustard which is the most consumed TAV.