Monday, 14 September 2009

Radio programme on African Indigenous vegetables

Africa has hundreds of indigenous vegetables, which have been grown, gathered and eaten for centuries. But in the past half century 'exotic' imports have started to displace them; the likes of cabbage, kale and carrots were associated with being more developed, and cosmopolitan, while the traditional foods became food for the poor.
(Photo courtesy of Enoch Achigan Dako, Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Benin)
So does it matter? Aren't all vegetables healthy? Sheila Dillon of the BBC looks at a project run by Bioversity International in Kenya to increase the availability and consumption of Africa's indigenous green leafy vegetables. She finds out what role many people believe they can play in solving some of the continent's most pressing problems, including malnutrition and crop failures due to global warming.

Sheila is joined in discussion by Pablo Eyzaguirre, senior scientist at Bioversity International, which is carrying out work in Kenya and around the world promoting biodiversity of agriculture and diet, and Dr Einir M Young, head of sustainable development at the the Welsh Institute for Natural Resources at Bangor University, which is involved in the production of the recently-published African Indigenous Vegetables in Urban Agriculture.