African traditional vegetables back on the table

| March 19, 2018

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In keeping with the theme of agricultural biodiversity that we explore in all our Farmer stories this week, our Script of the week focuses on the traditional vegetables that are making a comeback in East Africa.

More than 300 different species of African traditional vegetables have been eaten in East Africa for many years. These vegetables are known for their nutritional as well as medicinal value.

African traditional vegetables were a big part of people’s diet and culture until modern vegetables like cabbage and carrots were introduced. In the past few years, however, traditional vegetables—like amaranth, spider plant, Ethiopian or African kale, and African nightshade—have been making a comeback. Small-scale farmers are now growing the once-neglected vegetables, and they’re being sold in open-air markets and supermarkets, and eaten by both rural and urban people.

This script captures the experiences of people who are successfully growing and selling traditional vegetables in Kenya. It shows how farmers can grow traditional vegetables to improve their income and food security.