Traditional vegetables now major food in urban East Africa (2)

17:18, July 13, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Hafashimana says that markets and restaurants in Kampala and other major towns in Uganda are doing roaring business following a sudden attitude change towards the vegetables.

He adds that as a result restaurants that specialize in cooking traditional vegetables have sprung up and are making good business as is evidenced by long queue of people entering the dining halls. "The fact that our grandfathers consistently ate the traditional vegetables and rarely became ill is an indication that the vegetables are not outdated as most people think but medicinal," Hafashimana adds.

An Ethnobotanist at Bioversity International Patrick Maundu notes that even though preference for exotic vegetables like cabbage, Swiss chard and kale still exists, high prevalence of minerals and vitamins in traditional vegetables is attracting consumers.

Maundu confirms that the vegetables have high prevalence of micronutrients that is capable of protecting people from contracting anaemia and blindness as well as helping in protecting 42.2 percent of children in sub Sahara Africa from risk of vitamin A deficiency.

He says that traditional vegetables, unlike the exotic cousins have more options to cope with climate change, pests, water stress and diseases. "Besides other values derived from consuming the vegetables, they are also a major source of income for people who grow it in plenty," he adds.

Maundu says that the vegetables have the potential for value addition and also extraction of oil from the seeds.

He suggested that the vegetables like pumpkin leaves, cowpea leaves, okra fruits, bean leaves, corchorus leaves, cassava leaves, moringa and desert date should be dried and sold in powder form or in chopped form.

Since the vegetables have the potential to contribute to poverty alleviation in Africa they still require additional research to determine the levels of toxicity in some species. "The vegetables have been grown and utilized traditionally by many African communities and posses several advantages and potentials that have not been fully exploited, says Prof. Mary Abukutsa Onyango, a lecturer at the department of horticulture at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

【1】 【2】 【3】

(Editor:李牧(实习))

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • Arash Kamalvand (L) of Iran spikes the ball during the semifinal against South Korea at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011. Iran won 3-1 to advance to the final. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
Hot Forum Discussion