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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. 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.

 

This “vegetable gap” in Africa is an opportunity to create jobs and income and at the same time improve nutrition.

The Challenge

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 quality of produce by 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 the 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.

 

Intervention strategy

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

 

Expected Results

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.

Key facts

Objectives

1

Create jobs for youth and women, in the vegetable sector

2

Increase incomes for youth and women, in the vegetable sector

3

Improve environmental and human health through safe production of vegetables

Project in countries

Veggies 4 Planets and People

Vegetable production in Kenya will focus on commercial vegetables such as tomato, cabbage, kale, and French beans and some traditional African vegetables such as amaranth, African nightshade, cowpea leaves, and spider plant.

 

In Kenya, the project is targeting the urban and peri-urban areas surrounding Nairobi and Kisumu cities. They will work with smallholder 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.

 

Our experts

Leah Mwaura

Project Manager - Veggies 4 Planet & People

Jeremiah Rogito

Project Field Officer - Veggies 4 Planet and People

Donors & Partners