African-Indigenous Vegetables and Human Health in Eastern Africa
It is estimated that 925 million of the world’s population are undernourished, 239 million (26%) of whom are inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa where the number of poor is projected to increase to 404 million by 2015. Thus, it is important and necessary to address and design food systems approaches to improving dietary quality as a means to reduce the prevalence of under-nutrition, both total energy (calories from macronutrients) and micronutrient under-nutrition. Recognizing this major challenge, USAID developed a multi-sectoral nutrition strategy for 2014-2025 to decrease malnutrition, improve nutrition and increase economic productivity, the USAID-funded Horticulture Innovation Program.
The focus of t the nutrition component is to determine changes in dietary intake and diversity and nutrient-dense vegetable (African Indigenous Vegetables, AIV) consumption of households in Kenyan and Zambian communities that were exposed to increased AIV production, marketing, and behavior change communication compared to a control community that receives no special treatment.
Evaluation of this program will be conducted in four communities in Kenya and four communities in Zambia with a total of 500 households that will be chosen to be engaged in participatory action research. This program will be coordinated by AMPATH and MOI University in Kenya and AgriSmart, with cooperation from MAWA, in Zambia.