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Indigenous Vegetables for Food Security
Sarah Rich, 17 Nov 06
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Last spring, Emeka Okafor wrote a guest piece for us highlighting the importance -- especially in the developing world -- of gardening with native vegetables as a sustainable way to improve nutrition and maintain good health. He's just written a short follow-up at his own blog inspired by a recent report on research into "underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply." There's a short overview of the findings here, with descriptions of the eighteen indigenous vegetables the study covered, which include amaranth, baobab, cowpea and locust bean. There is apparently also a companion report on native African fruits.

The resurgence of indigenous food sources in rural and urban gardens has numerous benefits, both immediate and long-term. It's an avenue toward more sustainable development, a promise of better nutrition -- particularly for children and pregnant and nursing women, and a way to facilitate easier cultivation practices.

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