The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) is a peer reviewed scholarly journal. The journal is envisaged to enable dissemination and sharing of food and nutrition information issues on the continent. It taps social science, biochemical, food and nutrition related research and information. It also addresses issues related to agriculture, food security, and nutrition that affect Africa's development and people's livelihoods. It targets and is intended to serve the research and intellectual community; African and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs); African and development oriented bilateral and multilateral agencies; and African public institutions working towards solving food and nutrition problems through sound policies, and addressing issues that affect the African continent. AJFAND is open to both African and non-African contributors. Besides academic research, the journal provides an avenue for sharing information on national-level food and nutrition programs. QUALITY remains the driver of our efforts and not QUANTITY. The journal carries out a major mentoring and capacity building role for budding African scholars, and also gives visibility to African scholars in general by highlighting and sharing their work internationally.


The library contains articles of African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development as of vol. 1(2001) to current.

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    Alice Nkungula; Instructor, Food Technology and Nutrition, Department of Technical Education, Faculty of Education, University of Zimbabwe; Ellen Harris; Research Leader, Community Nutrition Research Group, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. Beltsville , MD 20705 USA (African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2005-02-25)
    Experiential learning was used as a technique to teach nutrition assessment at the University of Zimbabwe, whereby, a class project augmented lectures. The purpose of the class project was to demonstrate how information from lectures could be used to assess the University\'s food environment and its ability to allow people on campus to meet Food Guide Pyramid recommendations. The campus food environment was defined as (a) sources of food for staff and faculty, (b) sources of food for students, (c) staff and faculty food intake, and (d) student food intake. Students designed their class projects based on lectures, which systematically introduced them to basic concepts of survey research methodology, questionnaire development, interviewing techniques, data analysis, and presentation. The students collected demographic, dietary, and nutrition knowledge data. Diet Analysis, Version 4 was used and modified using the Food Composition Table for Use in Africa, the Composition of Foods Commonly Eaten in East Africa, Nutritive Value of Foods of Zimbabwe, and Indigenous and Traditional Foods in Zimbabwe. This project allowed students to see for the first time nutrient breakdowns of their most common foods. Challenging aspects of using computer hardware, nutrient analysis software and modifying it to include limited local African food composition data are presented. Data collected by the students is presented to demonstrate how nutrition assessment techniques can be taught through a practical experience. FORMATION PRATIQUE: UTILISATION D\'UN COURS DE FORMATION SUR LA NUTRITION POUR LA COLLECTE DES DONNEES SUR LES MODELES ALIMENTAIRES DU CAMPUS DE L\'UNIVERSITE DU ZIMBABWE NOTE DE SYNTHESE La technique de la formation pratique est utilisée pour enseigner l\'évaluation du régime alimentaire à l\'Université du Zimbabwe. Cette expérience pratique a été réalisée à travers un projet de classe qui a donné des cours sur ce sujet. L\'objectif du projet de classe est de démontrer comment les informations recueillies au cours des sessions de formation peuvent être utilisées dans l\'appréciation de l\'environnement nutritionnel de l\'Université. Ces informations peuvent permettre également à l\'institution universitaire d\'évaluer sa capacité à permettre aux personnes vivant sur le campus à répondre aux recommandations du guide sur la pyramide alimentaire. L\'environnement nutritionnel a été défini comme suit : (a) les sources alimentaires pour le personnel et la faculté, (b) les sources alimentaires pour les étudiants, (c) la consommation alimentaire de la faculté et, (d) la consommation alimentaire des étudiants. Les étudiants ont organisé leur projet de classe en se basant sur les cours, qui les ont systématiquement introduits aux concepts de base de la méthodologie d\'une étude de recherche, l\'élaboration des questionnaires, les techniques d\'entrevue, d\'analyse des données et de la présentation. Les étudiants ont recueilli des données démographiques, diététiques et nutritionnelles. L\'analyse du régime alimentaire, Version 4 a été utilisée et modifiée en se servant du tableau de la composition du régime alimentaire d\'Afrique, de la composition des denrées alimentaires communément consommées en Afrique de l\'Est, de la valeur nutritive des aliments du Zimbabwe et des produits alimentaires locaux et traditionnels du Zimbabwe. Ce projet a permis aux étudiants de constater pour la première fois les défaillances nutritives de leurs régime alimentaire de base. Les problèmes que posent l\'utilisation de l\'ordinateur, du logiciel d\'analyse des matières nutritives et sa modification afin d\'inclure des données limitées sur la composition des produits alimentaires locaux d\'Afrique ont été soulevés. Les données recueillies par les étudiants sont présentées afin de démontrer que les techniques d\'évaluation des produits alimentaires peuvent être enseignées à travers une formation pratique. Mots-clés nutrition, évaluation du régime alimentaire, formation pratique Keywords: nutrition, dietary assessment, experiential learning AJFAND Vol.4(2) 2004
  • Social impacts of IPM-FFS on urban and peri-urban vegetable producers in Cotonou, Benin

    Lund, T; Nyborg, I; Rahman, MH; Sæthre, MG (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2013-07-11)
    Shifting from scientist-led top-down approaches in agricultural development to participatory approaches putting farmers and their knowledge in the center requires scientists and farmers to play new roles, changing social relationships between them, and among farmers themselves. Using mainly qualitative data and analysis, this paper reports social impacts (social relations, social empowerment and sharing of IPM information, and sustainability and institutionalization of IPM) for vegetable producers in an integrated pest management (IPM) project using farmer field schools (FFS) in Cotonou. Forty-three vegetable producers were chosen for semi-structured interviews. The project led to social empowerment of the vegetable producers and initiated a process of creation and sharing of IPM knowledge and building of social relations within and between the vegetable gardens. The participants realized they were sources of information for each other, and IPM knowledge was shared without the benefit or restriction of social networks. However, this study revealed several factors hindering the development of improved social relations among the vegetable producers and between these and the scientists and steering committee members, which in turn may result in lack of continuation and institutionalization of IPM activities. To overcome these obstacles, this research suggests that similar IPM-FFS projects encourage (1) a transparent selection process, (2) improvement of the Trainer of Trainers’ facilitation skills for better quality FFSs and improved sharing of complex information like agro-ecosystem analysis and  beneficial insects, (3) building trust and confidence between the  participants and scientists, (4) giving the ToT participants, community organizers and farmer organizations ownership of the project by giving them responsibility for creating post project plans to spread and institutionalize IPM of IPM-FFS activities and (5) facilitating the participants during and after the project in improving social relations and accountability. The results also draw lessons on how scientists and vegetable producers have or should have changed their roles to sustain and institutionalize IPM, such as the scientists and project leaders need to focus even more on their interactions with vegetable producers, enhancing their role as facilitators in initiating equitable processes of sustaining and institutionalizing IPM in the vegetable gardens.Key words: IPM-FFS, Empowerment, Relations, Information sharing
  • Economic potentials of fish marketing and women empowerment in Nigeria: Evidence from Ogun State

    Babalola, DA; Bajimi, O; Isitor, SU (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2015-06-11)
    This study examined the economic potential of fish marketing and women empowerment in Ogun state. Ninety two women fish marketers were selected using the multi-stage sampling procedure. The data collected through the use of questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics, marketing margin and regression technique. The result of the socioeconomic characteristics showed that 56.5 percent had only primary education, 82.6 percent were married and 69.6 percent were between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Some 52.2 percent of the respondents had greater than 10 years experience marketing fish and 66.3 percent were retailers. About 45.7 percent sold frozen fish and only 39.1 percent participated in cooperative marketing. The result of the budgetary analysis showed average marketing margin of N6, 280 per week for the respondents and marketing efficiency greater than one which indicated profitability of the enterprise and further showed the potential of fish marketing contribution to women’s economic empowerment. The regression results showed that the variables which positively and significantly influenced marketing margin among fish marketers were the value of sale per week (p<0.01); volume of trade per week (p<0.01); level of education (p<0.05) and participation in cooperative marketing (p<0.05). The cost of fish purchase negatively and significantly influenced marketing margin (p<0.01). The major constraints faced by the respondents in fish marketing in the study area was the high cost incurred in preserving the fishes, huge initial expense, purchase price instability and inconsistent and high transport cost. It is recommended that in addition to the call on government to invest more in fish farming and distribution, fish marketers should be facilitated to improve their educational status and encouraged to participate in cooperatives. Furthermore, policies that will guarantee price stability and improve the microfinance arrangements should be put in place in order to increase the economic return from fish marketing.Keywords: Fish, women, empowerment, marketing margin
  • Agricultural vulnerability to climate change in Sokoto State, Nigeria

    Although climate change is global threat, developing countries have been identified as most vulnerable owing to their low adaptive capacities. In Nigeria, while the impacts of climate cut across diverse sectors, agriculture remains the most susceptible due to the predominance of rainfed agriculture. This paper examines agricultural vulnerability to climate change in eight selected rural settlements in Sokoto State, Nigeria adopting the integrated approach which combines environmental and socio-economic determinants. Monthly rainfall, raindays and temperatures (minimum and maximum) data for Sokoto (1951-2010) were sourced from the archives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Lagos. The annual rainfall, total of raindays and mean temperature were computed and used for the trends analyses of the climatic variables while the annual drought intensities for Sokoto synoptic weather station were computed from the annual rainfall data. Data on the environmental and socio-economic determinants of agricultural vulnerability to climate change were collected from 234 selected farmers using structured questionnaire. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the relationship between the agricultural vulnerability of the sampled farmers and the determinants. Stepwise regression was used to resolve the issue of multi-collinearity in the independent variables and consequently enhance the strength of the model. Results show that while there were downward trends of annual rainfall and raindays in Sokoto, annual mean temperatures show upward trend. Annual droughts were of slight and moderate intensities during the period under review. The results also revealed that unreliable rainfall, desertification, increasing temperatures, scarcity of pastures and inaccessibility to credit facilities accounted for 86% of the variation of agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the selected settlements in Sokoto State. The paper concludes that the determinants of agricultural vulnerability to climate change in the selected settlements in Sokoto State connote environmental and socio-economical stressors. The paper, therefore, recommends development of irrigation projects and planned grazing as well as provision of soft and accessible loan facilities to local farmers on a sustainable basis.Keywords: Climate change, drought, agriculture, vulnerability
  • Food Fortification to Prevent and Control Iron Deficiency

    Funded in part by NRF of South Africa and CSC of China; Chen, Zhengxing; School of Food Science and Technology, Southern Yangtze University, 170 Huihe Ro; Oldewage-Theron, Wilna; Department of Hospitality and Foode Consumer Science, Vaal Triangle Technikon, P (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2002-02-01)
    Iron deficiency anaemia, one of the most prevalent problems of micronutrient malnutrition, occurs in many developing countries. Causes of the problem are many, but one of the major causes is low bioavailability of food iron. An increase in the supply of absorbable iron-rich food in the diet should decrease the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia. One of the strategies to overcome the high prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia in developing countries is to fortify food products with iron, with the goal of increasing the level of iron consumption resulting in improved nutritional status. Food fortification is the most cost effective, sustainable and optimal approach in the battle against iron deficiencies in developing countries. Iron fortification does not have the gastro-intestinal side effects that iron supplements often induce. Fortification iron can be divided into two main forms namely haem iron and non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is more often used for fortification purposes because of availability of and lower cost. Most iron-fortified foods contain potential absorption inhibitors, for example, phytates, polyphenols containing galloyl groups, oxalates and calcium. It is essential to prevent the fortification iron from reacting with the absorption inhibitors. To ensure adequate absorption therefore, various factors must be considered before initiating a fortification programme. These include cost effectiveness of fortification in increasing absorbable iron, palatability of the fortified food and the etiology of iron deficiency. It is thus important to carefully select the food vehicles to be fortified as well as the iron fortificants to be added. A successful iron fortification program depends heavily upon the absorption of the added iron and its protection from some absorptive inhibitors. This paper focuses on the latest technical advancement ruling the selection of food vehicles and iron fortification compounds with the aim of ensuring adequate absorption of fortified iron. The optimization of the iron fortification compounds with the highest potential absorption causing the least subsequent organoleptic problems in the food vehicles is first discussed, followed by a description of ways of protecting and enhancing the absorption of fortification iron, such as applications of acidifiers, haemoglobin, sodium iron ethylene diamine tetra-acetate and amino acid-chelated iron. Finally, the major foods that are used as iron fortification vehicles in South Africa are discussed. Key words: iron deficiency, anaemia, iron fortificants, food fortification, micronutrient deficiencies Rsum FORTIFICATION DES ALIMENTS POUR PREVENIR ET REDUIRE LES INSUFFISANCES DU FER RÉSUMÉ L anémie causée par l insuffisance du fer, l un des problèmes les plus fréquents de la malnutrition liée aux micro-nutriments, se produit dans beaucoup de pays en développement. Les causes de ce problème sont nombreuses, mais l une des causes majeures est le niveau bas de la disponibilité biologique du fer dans les aliments. Une augmentation dans l approvisionnement d aliments riches en fer absorbable dans le régime alimentaire devrait faire baisser la prévalence de l anémie causée par l insuffisance du fer. L une des stratégies visant à réduire la prévalence élevée de l anémie causée par l insuffisance du fer dans les pays en développement est de fortifier les produits alimentaires avec du fer, dans le but d augmenter le niveau de la consommation du fer et, de ce fait, l état nutritionnel sera amélioré. La fortification des aliments est l approche la plus rentable, viable et optimale dans la lutte contre l insuffisance du fer dans les pays en développement. La fortification du fer n a pas les effets secondaires gastro-intestinaux que les suppléments de fer provoquent souvent. La fortification du fer peut être divisée en deux grandes formes, à savoir le fer avec haem et le fer sans haem. Le fer sans haem est plus souvent utilisé dans le processus de fortification à cause de la disponibilité des ressources et du coût abordable. Comme la plupart des aliments fortifiés avec du fer contiennent des inhibiteurs possibles de l absorption, par exemple, la présence des phytates, des poly-phénols contenant des groupes de galloyl, les oxalates et le calcium affectent négativement la bio-disponibilité des fortifiants du fer sans haem, il est essentiel d empêcher au fer de fortification de réagir avec les inhibiteurs de l absorption en vue d assurer une absorption adéquate. De nombreux facteurs doivent être pris en considération avant d initier un programme de fortification. Ces facteurs sont notamment la rentabilité de la fortification en augmentant le fer absorbable, le goût agréable des aliments fortifiés et l étiologie de l insuffisance du fer. Il est donc important de sélectionner attentivement les véhicules alimentaires qu il faut fortifier ainsi que les fortifiants de fer qu il faut ajouter. Un programme efficace de fortification de fer dépend étroitement de l absorption du fer ajouté et de sa protection contre certains inhibiteurs de l absorption. Ce document est axé sur le progrès technique le plus récent qui oriente la sélection des véhicules alimentaires et les composés de la fortification du fer dans le but d assurer une absorption adéquate du fer fortifié. L optimisation des composés de la fortification du fer avec le degré le plus élevé d une éventuelle absorption qui cause le moins de problèmes organoleptiques ultérieurs dans les véhicules alimentaires est analysée en premier lieu, suivie d une description des moyens de protéger et d accroître l absorption du fer de fortification, tels que les applications d acidifiants, l hémoglobine, le Tétra-acétate de diamine d éthylène de fer et de sodium ainsi que le fer amino-acide-chélaté. Enfin, les principaux aliments qui sont utilisés comme véhicules de fortification du fer en Afrique du Sud sont passés en revue. Mots clés: insuffisance en fer, anémie, fortifiants du fer, fortification des aliments, insuffisances en micro-nutriments (Af. J. of Food and Nutritional Sciences: 2002 2(2): 67-77)

    Kadere, TT; Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi, Kenya.; Oniang'o, RK; Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi, Kenya.; Kutima, PM; Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi, Kenya.; Muhoho, SN; Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi, Kenya. (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2004-08-06)
    The coconut palm (cocos nucifera) which is currently grown in nearly 90 countries that spread along the tropical belt is a versatile plant. In Kenya the most important palm tree is the coconut palm. Other palms found in Kenya include the borassus palm (Borassus aethiopum), the doum palm (Hyphae coriacea) and the wild date palm (phoenix reclinata). Tapping of coconut sap and utilization of this sap in various ways are a widespread practice in the Coastal region of Kenya. The study aimed at availing information on coconut wine tapping and distillation in Kenya. The findings could be used for further research, technological improvement and creation of awareness to those not acquainted with the technology despite having interest. The survey was conducted in Kilifi, Malindi and Kwale districts. Information was obtained on identification of the right spathe, tapping procees, sap collection, wine storage and distillation. Ripe spathe was identified as that which was sword like in shape, swollen at the base but not at the tip. The tapping procees involved: tying of the ripe spathe; cutting and removal of the spathe tip; sheath peeling-at a position 4 to 6 cm from the cut end; tying of the exposed spikelets with leaflets followed by trimming 2 to 3 mm of the leaflets tied section from the cut end to allow continuous oozing of the sap. The oozing sap was collected in containers made of plastic or gourd materials. Trimming was done two to three times a day, while wine collection was done twice a day. The first sap to ooze out was discarded daily for a period of three to six days. Wine meant for distillation was matured for one to seven days. The distillation equipment comprised of an assembly of pots with different sizes with a metallic container serving as a condenser. The number of times the cooling water was replaced depended on the capacity of the distillation equipment. This study is part of the project on study, improvement and industrial application of coconut alcoholic beverage (mnazi). Key Words: Coconut wine, Sap, Mnazi, tapping, distillation, spathe, spikelets, sheathe. MÉTHODES TraditionNELLES DE MISE EN VALEUR ET DE distillation DU VIN DE NOIX DE coco (mnazi) TELLES QUE pratiQUÉES DANS LA rÉgion COTIÈRE DU Kenya . Résumé Le cocotier (cocos nucifera ) est une plante à usages multiples ; il pousse actuellement dans près de 90 pays qui s'étendent le long de la ceinture tropicale. Au Kenya, le palmier le plus important est le cocotier. D'autres palmiers trouvés au Kenya sont notamment le palmier borassus (Borassus aethiopum) , le palmier doum (Hyphae coriacea) et le dattier sauvage (phoenix reclinata ). La mise en valeur de la sève de la noix de coco et l'utilisation de cette sève de plusieurs manières sont des pratiques bien connues dans la région côtière du Kenya. La présente étude avait pour but de publier des informations sur l'extraction et la distillation du vin de coco au Kenya. Les résultats pourraient être utilisés dans des recherches plus approfondies, pour améliorer la technologie et faire prendre conscience aux personnes qui ne connaissent pas encore bien cette technologie alors qu'elles s'y intéressent. Cette étude s'est déroulée dans les districts de Kilifi, Malindi et Kwale. Les informations ont été collectées sur base de l'identification de la bonne spathe, du processus de mise en valeur, de la collecte de la sève, de la conservation et de la distillation du vin. La spathe mûre a été identifiée comme étant celle qui était comme une épée de par la forme, gonflée à la base mais pas à l'extrémité. Le processus de mise en valeur impliquait qu'il fallait nouer la spathe mûre; couper et enlever le bout de la spathe; éplucher la gaine –à une position de 4 à 6 cm du bout coupé; attacher les épillets exposés avec des folioles. Il fallait ensuite émonder légèrement 2 à 3 mm de la section ligotée avec des folioles à partir du bout coupé afin de permettre un écoulement continu de la sève. La sève en écoulement a été collectée dans des récipients faits de matière plastique ou de calebasse. L'émondage se faisait deux ou trois fois par jour, tandis que la collecte de vin se faisait deux fois par jour. La première sève recueillie était jetée chaque jour pendant une période de trois à six jours. Le vin destiné à la distillation était gardé pendant un à sept jours pour qu'il arrive à maturité. L'équipement de distillation était composé d'un assemblage de pots de différentes dimensions avec un récipient métallique qui servait de condenseur. Le nombre de fois que l'eau de refroidissement était remplacée dépendait de la capacité de l'équipement de distillation. Cette étude s'inscrit dans le cadre du projet portant sur l'étude, l'amélioration et l'application industrielle de la boisson alcoolisée fabriquée à partir de la noix de coco (mnazi). Mots-clés: Vin de noix de coco, sève, Mnazi, mise en valeur, distillation, spathe, épillets, gaine foliaire. AJFAND Vol.4(1) 2004
  • Nutrient intake and adequacy of batswana elderly

    Maruapula, SD; Novakofski, CK (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2010-09-06)
    The purpose of this study was to determine the adequacy of nutrient intakes of the elderly in Botswana and to further assess intake by age, gender, and locality and others. The study was a cross-sectional survey with a convenience sample in purposively selected urban, semi-urban and rural settings in Botswana. Data collection included self-reported assessments of health status and food intake. Analyses compared demographic strata and health status with the intake and adequacy of self-reported consumption. A total of 99 elderly aged 60 to 99 years completed a 24-hour food recall instrument and in addition, demographic, health status, and cooking responsibilities data were collected from each respondent. Results from the survey show that 14% of the elderly rated their health as good, 76% indicated they were in fair health and 10% in poor health. The mean number of servings of food groups and some individual foods common in the daily diet show that the Grains group was the only food group whose mean intake (7.7 servings /day) was within the US recommended 6-11 servings per day. Fruit consumption was very poor (0.1 servings/day) and differed significantly by locality (p< .01), as the urban elderly had a higher consumption of fruits, but still much lower than the recommended intake. The contributions of protein, carbohydrate and fat to total energy were 15%, 66%, and 22% respectively. Adequate energy intake did differ significantly (p < .049) by selfhealth rating. Mean macronutrient intake differed significant by gender only for saturated fat (p< .038). Micronutrient intake differed by gender for vitamin A (p< .009), calcium (p < .01) and folic acid (p< .027). Consumption of adequate vitamin A was significantly associated with gender and cooking responsibilities. Self-health rating was also significantly associated with adequate consumption of vitamin B12 (p< .027), selenium (p< .001) and zinc (p< .009). In conclusion, Batswana elderly had poor nutrient intake associated with self-health rating, gender, and cooking responsibilities.Key words: Elderly, Botswana, diet, nutrient, health
  • What climate change means for farmers in Africa: A triptych review left panel: Increasing climate variabilty and a response approach for African farmers

    Stigter, CJ; Ofori, E (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-03-20)
    In this paper in three parts, climate change is approached by dealing with the three sides from which the danger comes: (i) global warming, (ii) increasing climate variability, (iii) more (and possibly more severe) meteorological and climatological extreme events. These are the three panels of this triptych review and this left panel is about (ii). This second panel starts with a compelling review of the present situation of food  security, referring to African examples to improve the situation. Then theinfluence is discussed that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has on increasing climate variability as a consequence of climate change. It is indicated that, to date, climate models have been developed with little knowledge of agricultural systems dynamics. On the other hand one can illustrate that agricultural policy analysis has been conducted with little knowledge of climate dynamics. As a direct consequence of capricious behaviour of particularly rainfall in West Africa, the adaptation of its farmers has lagged behind enormously. This statement is valid for most farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Within the climate science community there is an emerging effort to make findings more suitable for decision making, but as yet there is little consensus as to how data may be relied upon for decision making. Then a lot of attention is paid to how response farming, that is thoroughly defined, can play an important role in coping with the consequences of climate variability. Response farming is often limited envisaging rainfall events, but coping with weather and climate (and oftensoil) disasters as well as using windows of weather and climate (and often soil) opportunities are other forms of responding to weather and climate (and often soil) realities. Services such as in advice on design rules on above and below ground microclimate management or manipulation, with respect to any appreciable microclimatic improvement: shading, wind protection, mulching, other surface modification, drying, storage, frost protection and so on belong to such “response farming”  agrometeorological services. Ideally, to get optimal preparations, farmersget advisories/services through extension intermediaries, backed by scientists, to properly understand decision options through discussions supported by economic analyses. Throughout the paper text boxes are used that illustrate local conditions that must be taken into account if one wants to understand the impacts/consequences of climate change for African farmers and how they may cope with them.Key words: Climate variability, response farming, services
  • Public health and food safety in the WHO African region

    Mensah, P; Mwamakamba, L; Mohamed, C; Nsue-Milang, D (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2012-08-28)
    Contaminated food continues to cause numerous devastating outbreaks in the African Region. In Africa, a large proportion of ready-to-eat foods are sold by the informal sector, especially as street foods. The hygienic aspects of vending operations and the safety of these foods are problematic for food safety regulators. The global food crisis has worsened an already precarious food situation because when food is in short supply people are more concerned about satisfying hunger than the safety of the food. The aetiological agents include various pathogenic bacteria, parasites and viruses. Chemical contaminants are becoming increasingly important. Human factors including: unhygienic practices and deliberate contamination, environmental factors, such as unsafe water, unsafe waste disposal and exposure of food to insects and dust,undercooked food, and prolonged storage of cooked food without refrigeration are the main predisposing factors. WHO’s position is that food safety must be recognised as a public health function and access to safe food as a basic human right. The work of WHO in food safety is in line with its core functions and various global and regional commitments, especially the document entitled “Food Safety and Health: A Strategy for the WHO African Region (AFR/RC57/4) adopted in 2007. WHO has been supporting countries to strengthen food safety systems and partnerships and advocacy; to develop evidence-based food safety policies; strengthen laboratory capacity for foodborne disease surveillance; enhance participation of countries in the standard-setting activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission; and strengthen food safety education using the WHO Five Keys to Safer Food . The implementation of the Regional Food Safety Strategy adopts a holistic farm-to-fork approach which addresses the entire food control system. Much has been achieved since the adoption of the document Food Safety and health: A Strategy for the WHO African Region, but commitment to food safety still remains low due to competing priorities. In particular, countries are now shifting away from fragmented food control implementation towards multi-agency and coordinated as well as single agency systems. The Codex Trust Fund has facilitated participation and capacity building for Codex work. Although funding for the Food Safety Programme has increased as compared to the levels in 2002, this remains inadequate. WHO will continue to support countries to strengthen food safety systems in line with its core functions and as enshrined in the regional food safety strategy.
  • Association between lifestyle and health variables with nutritional status of the elderly in the Northern Region of Ghana

    Aganiba, BA; Owusu, WB; Steiner-Asiedu, M; Dittoh, S (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2015-10-28)
    With fertility and mortality steadily declining, a remarkable shift in the world’s population age structure toward older ages is expected in the coming decades. The elderly population is at particular risk of malnutrition. The presence of malnutrition could be the result of, and also lead to, social, medical and other health problems. Currently, Ghana has the highest proportion of persons aged 60 years and above in sub-Saharan Africa and little attention has been given to this segment of the population. A cross-sectional study of 400 (177 males and 223 females) individuals who are 65 years and above was carried out in urban areas in the Northern Region of Ghana to evaluate the nutrition and health situation of the elderly. Socio-demographic and economic data, dietary patterns, state of health, level of physical activity and lifestyle variables were collected using a questionnaire. Anthropometric data (weight and height) were measured using standard procedures. More than half of the participants (56.2%) were married and living with their spouses. These were mostly the males. Most of the participants (93.5%) had no formal education while over half of them (57.2%) relied on family members and friends for their financial needs. Slightly over half (53.2%) of the subjects had fair health status with females experiencing more disease conditions than males. Almost all the respondents were independent in performing all daily activities. Using Body Mass Index (BMI) in kg/m2 as an indicator for nutritional status, 18.0% of the participants were underweight, 60.5% had normal weight and 21.5% were overweight. Alcohol consumption and sight problems were found to have significant negative association with BMI (p=0.007 and p=0.005, respectively). Malnutrition is, therefore, an important public health burden among the elderly in the region and therefore deserves attention. The formulation and implementation of a national policy on the elderly and nutrition education targeting the whole populace is urgently needed in Ghana to ensure healthy aging.Keywords: nutritional status, elderly, health, lifestyle, dietary intake, body mass index
  • Roles and capacity of duty bearers in the realization of the human right to adequate food in Uganda

    Rukundo, PM; Kikafunda, JK; Oshaug, A (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2012-02-29)
    The right to adequate food recognised under international law provides a strong foundation for eradicating hunger and malnutrition in all nations. Uganda ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1987 and thereby committed itself to ensure the realization of the right to adequate food recognised under Article 11 of the Covenant. This study analysed the roles and capacity of duty bearers in the realization of the right to adequate food in Uganda. Structured interviews were held with purposefully selected duty bearers from 11 districts in the country between February and July 2007. Districts were selected by criterion based sampling. Relevant policies, budgets, and legislation were also reviewed, particularly with state obligations on human rights, and capacity of duty bearers in mind. Although this right is expressly recognised in the Food and Nutrition Policy of 2003 in which a multi-sectoral approach is proposed, sector-specific roles are not explicitly defined in Uganda’s institutional and policy framework. Most duty bearer (63%) considered the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) as being responsible for the delays in implementing the relevant actions for the right to food. The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) reported receiving inadequate budget resources to support the right to food. Only 20% of duty bearers had knowledge of the General Comment 12, which is an important United Nations instrument that defines and elaborates on the human right to adequate food. Duty bearer’s knowledge of the right to food in the national Constitution had a significant (X2 = 0.003; P<0.05) positive correlation (R=0.283) with membership status to an adhoc Uganda Food and Nutrition Council (UFNC). A proposed Food and Nutrition Bill had taken over 10 years without being presented to the National Parliament for the process of enactment into law. As such, most of the support for this right came from development partners. Whereas the ministry of health and MAAIF are line ministries in the implementation of food and nutrition policy, the right to food roles of the various duty bearers in Uganda need to be well defined. Capacity development is also needed, particularly related to integrating right to food sector-specific roles into the theoretical development and practical implementation of food and nutrition security programmes at all levels in the country.
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status and Knowledge of Students from Selected Secondary Schools in Sokoto Metropolis, Sokoto State, Nigeria

    Essien, E; Emebu, P K; Iseh, K R; Haruna, M J (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-11-14)
    The significance of improving nutrition knowledge in order to have a positive influence on food choices and health should not be underestimated. This study assessed the nutritional status and knowledge of school children attending selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis. The study population was purposively drawn from secondary school students in Nigeria attending Federal Government College and State Government-owned schools. Four secondary schools were used for the study: Federal Government College (FGC), Sani Dingyadi Secondary School (SDUSS), Nagarta Secondary School (NSS) and Army Day Secondary School (ADSS). A sample of 240 school students, aged 10 to 25 years participated in the study. The measuring instruments included a questionnaire to determine the nutrition knowledge of the students. Anthropometric measurements included weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference, measured using standard methodologies. The mean age recorded for male and female students were 18.0±1.90 and 15.7±1.20 years, respectively. The result showed that 27.9% were underweight, 7.5% overweight and 64.6% had normal BMI status. Nutritional status was significantly related with sex (χ2 = 16.169, p<0.05) but not with age (χ2 = 1.368, p>0.05). The prevalence of underweight was higher among the males (33.9%) compared to the females (13.9%), while more females were overweight (15.3%) compared to the males (4.2%). Seventy one percent performed poorly in the nutrition knowledge assessment rating. The overall performance of the female students was significantly higher (χ2 = 46.386; P<0.05) than their male counterparts. Furthermore, 5, 12 and 12% had excellent, very good and good nutrition knowledge, respectively, while 33% and 38% had fair and poor nutrition knowledge, respectively. The results further revealed that the students were deficient in knowledge and understanding of the facts about energy and nutritive values of foods. Therefore, adequate nutrition education is needed at the secondary school level; this will enable the students to make good food choices and positively influence their eating habits thereby ensuring better nutritional status.Keywords: malnutrition, knowledge, school, anthropometry, Sokoto

    N Johnson; Department of Sociology, 425 Berkey Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; MS Nnyepi; Department of Home Economics Education, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana; L Weatherspoon; Department of Sociology, 425 Berkey Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; J Bond; Department of FSHN, 204 Trout FSHN Building, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824 (African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2004-08-06)
    This study was conducted to characterise the relationship between complementary foods and the growth of children of ages three to 36 months in Gabane, Botswana. Dietary, anthropometric and socio-demographic data were collected from healthy children attending the monthly Child Welfare Clinic. Most children (92.8%) had adequate birth weights. Ninety-seven percent of children were breastfed. However, exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life was rare. Sixty-four point four percent (64.3%) and 44.4% of study children received water and infant formula within their first month of life. The most common complementary foods and fluids in this population were sorghum porridges, ultra high temperature pasteurised (UHT) cow milk, infant formula, tea and other types of milk from domestic animals. Between four and six months of age, sorghum porridges, ultra high temperature pasteurised (UHT) cow milk, and tea were introduced to 78%, 48.7% and 19.7% of children respectively. About 10% of children were introduced to complementary solids between two and three months while 3.4% were introduced to solids after six months of age. Sorghum porridges, which were the most common complementary solids in this population were also associated with lower (p < 0.05) weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and weight-for-height z-scores (WHZ). Children of working mothers were more likely (p < 0.001) to receive supplemental infant formula compared to children whose mothers did not have formal employment outside the home. Furthermore, supplementation with infant formula was significantly associated with higher (p < 0.05) WAZ and WHZ. Growth faltering in children became apparent shortly after three months, with the steepest decline in growth occurring between three and 12 months of age. Overall, 9.1%, 12.1%, and 5.3% of children were stunted, underweight, and wasted respectively. The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting was comparable in both genders. Children over 24 months of age had poorer (p < 0.05) growth indicators than younger children. Our findings suggest that the choice of complementary foods and fluids significantly influences the child's WAZ and WHZ, the duration of breastfeeding and the age at which solids are introduced. Key Words: Complementary foods, Sorghum porridge, Growth faltering, Z-scores, Cow milk L'INFLUENCE DES ALIMENTS COMPLÉMENTAIRES SUR LES INDICATEURS DE LA CROISSANCE DES ENFANTS A GABANE, BOTSWANA Résumé Cette étude a été effectuée dans le but de caractériser la relation entre les aliments complémentaires et la croissance des enfants âgés de trois à 36 mois à Gabane au Botswana. Des données relatives au régime alimentaire et des données anthropométriques et socio-démographiques ont été collectées chez des enfants en bonne santé présentés chaque mois au Centre médicosocial pédiatrique. La majorité des enfants (92,8%) avaient des poids adéquats à la naissance. Quatre-vingt-dix-sept pour cent (97%) des enfants étaient nourris au sein. Cependant, l'allaitement exclusif pendant les six premiers mois de la vie était rare. Soixante-quatre pour cent (64,3%) et 44,4% des enfants qui ont fait l'objet de cette étude ont reçu de l'eau et du lait maternisé au cours du premier mois de leur vie. Les aliments et fluides complémentaires les plus courants dans cette population étaient des bouillies de sorgho, du lait de vache pasteurisé à une température ultra élevée (TUE), du lait maternisé, du thé et d'autres types de lait d'animaux domestiques. Lorsque les enfants avaient entre quatre et six mois, les bouillies de sorgho, le lait de vache pasteurisé à une température ultra élevée (TUE), et le thé ont été donnés respectivement à 78%, 48,7% et 19,7% des enfants. Près de 10% des enfants ont commencé à recevoir des aliments solides complémentaires entre deux et trois mois tandis que 3,4% ont commencé à les prendre quand ils avaient plus de six mois. Les bouillies de sorgho, qui étaient les aliments solides complémentaires les plus courants dans cette population, étaient également associées à des proportions (z-scores) entre le poids et l'âge (WAZ) moins élevées (p < .05) et à des proportions (z-scores) entre le poids et la taille/hauteur (WHZ). Les enfants des mères qui travaillaient avaient plus de chances (p < .001) de recevoir du lait maternisé supplémentaire par rapport aux enfants dont les mères n'avaient pas d'emploi formel en dehors du domicile. En outre, l'alimentation supplémentaire par du lait maternisé était considérablement associée à des WAZ et WHZ plus élevées (p < .05). Le ralentissement de la croissance chez les enfants est devenu apparent peu après l'âge de trois mois, et la baisse la plus abrupte de la croissance se produisait entre l'âge de trois et 12 mois. En général, 9,1%, 12,1%, et 5,3% des enfants avaient une croissance retardée, avaient un poids insuffisant, et étaient décharnés respectivement. La prévalence du retard de croissance, du poids insuffisant et de la maigreur était comparable chez les garçons et chez les filles. Des enfants âgés de plus de 24 mois avaient des indicateurs d'une croissances plus faible (p < .05) que chez les enfants plus jeunes. Nos résultats suggèrent que le choix des aliments et fluides complémentaires influence considérablement la proportion WAZ et la proportion WHZ de l'enfant, la durée de l'allaitement et l'âge auquel les aliments solides sont introduits. AJFAND Vol.4(1) 2004
  • Phenolic Compounds, Phytate, Citric Acid and the In-vitro Iron Accessibility of Cowpeas, Mung Beans and Four Varieties of Kidney Beans

    A Kamala; Department of Food Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Box 5401 SE 402 29, Gothenburg, Sweden; E Towo; Tanzania food and Nutrition Centre, Box 977, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2003-01-01)
    Iron deficiency anaemia is highly prevalent in Tanzania affecting predominantly children and women of childbearing age. One of the major causes is the low iron bioavailability from vegetarian diets mainly due to the presence of various antinutritional factors that interfere with non-heme iron absorption. Cereals and legumes constitute the main ingredients of diets in the country providing proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Certain varieties of these grains contain large amounts of polyphenolics and phytate that are known to inhibit iron absorption. Varieties of legumes; cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) and mung beans (Vigna radiata L.) and kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were analyzed for the polyphenolics and phytates. The total and in vitro accessible iron, and the citric acid were also quantified and their nutritional consequences discussed. Phenolic compounds varied widely in the analysed legumes ranging from 3.37 to 9.14 mg catechin equivalent/g and they associated negatively with in vitro accessible iron (r = - 0.367; p = 0.054). The catechol and resorcinol phenolics ranged from 1.58 to 3.51 and 1.41 to 5.37 mg catechin equivalent/g respectively and were relatively higher than galloyls that range from 0.10 to 1.52 mg tannic acid equivalent/g). Phytate ranged from 8.46 to 13.18 mg/g, total iron from 3.58 to 7.55 mg/100g and in vitro accessible iron from 0.45 to 1.04 mg/100g. Citric acid ranged from 70.8 to 205.2 mg/100g and was associated positively with in vitro accessible iron (r = 0.845; p = 0.006). Proper processing of legumes to reduce antinutritional factors to relatively lower levels is important in order to render the iron and other nutrients readily available for absorption. Keywords: Phytate; phenolic compounds; galloyls; catechols; resorcinols; citric acid; in vitro accessible iron Résumé COMPOSES PHENOLIQUES, PHYTATES, ACIDE CITRIQUE ET LE FER ACCESSIBLE IN-VITRO DE NIEBES, HARICOTS MUNGO ET QUATRE VERIETES DE HARICOTS ORDINAIRES L'anémie ferriprivée est fortement répandue en Tanzanie touchant principalement, les enfants et les femmes en âge de procréer. L'une des principales causes est le faible bio-disponibilité en fer des régimes végétariens due principalement de divers facteurs antinuritionnelles qui empêchent l'absorption de fer-non-hémique. Les céréales et les légumes constituent la source principale d'alimentation dans ce pays. Ils fournissent les protéines les hydrates de carbone, les minéraux et les vitamines. Les variétés de légumes ; des niébés, (vigna unguiculata) et haricots mungo (vigna radiata L) et des haricots ordinaires (phaseolus vulgaris L ) ont été analysées pour voir leur contenance en polyphénoliques et phytates. L'ensemble le fer accessible in-vitro et l'acide citrique ont été également quantifiés et leur impact nutritionnel discuté. Les résultats de l'analyse ont indiqué que les composés phénoliques ont largement varié allant de 3,37 à 9,14 mg équivalent/g de catéchine et ils se sont associés de façon négative au fer accessible in-vitro (r=-0,367; P=0,054) La contenance en catéchol et résorcinol (composés phénoliques) ont varié respectivement de 1,58 à 3,51 et de 1,41 à 5,37mg de catéchine équivalent/g respectivement et étaient des taux relativement plus élevés que celui de galloys qui a varié de 0,10 à 1,52mg d'acide tannique/g. Les phytates ont varié de 8,46 à 13,18mg/g, le fer total a varié de 3,58 à 7,55 mg /100g et le fer accessible in-vitro de 0,45 à 1,04 mg / 100g. La teneur en acide citrique a varié de 70,8 à 205,2 mg / 100g et a été associé positivement avec le fer accessible in-vitro (r= 0,845g;p=0,006) Il est important qu'un traitement approprié des légumes soit réalisé pour réduire les facteurs anti-nutritionnels à des niveaux relativement bas afin de faciliter l'absorption du fer et d'autres nutriments. Mots clefs: phytates, composés phénoliques, galloys, catéchols, résorcinols, acide citrique, fer accessible in-vitro. (Af. J. of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development: 2003 3(1): 53-59)
  • What climate change means for farmers in Africa: A triptych review right panel: Climate extremes and society’s responses, including mitigation attempts as part of preparedness of African farmers

    Stigter, CJ; Ofori, E (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-03-20)
    In this paper in three parts, climate change is approached by dealing with the three sides from which the danger comes: (i) global warming, (ii) increasing climate variability, (iii) more (and possibly more severe) meteorological and climatological extreme events. These are the three panels of this triptych review and the right panel on climate extremes and society’s responses, including mitigation attempts as part of preparedness of African farmers, is this part. The occurrence of more (and possibly more severe) extreme meteorological/climatological events, as another likelyconsequence of climate change, is discussed, reviewing the literature and dealing for Africa with recent droughts and famines. It appears that there is more than sufficient proof that the numbers of disasters have risen globally, and on average at an increasing rate, over the last half a century, with more evidence in the later decades. Extreme hazards have a shorter recurrence time but whether they also have become more severe cannot be easily determined. This is due to developments in observations, populations and vulnerabilities and lack of developments in climatemodels. Only for increased temperature related disasters, severity has clearly become larger. However, recent more realistic calculations appear to suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years. In physical terms, there is also little or no evidence of increased severity of floods over the past century. Increasing farmer preparedness will be an important part of better responses to these conditions. The traditional response farming as to droughts, floods (annual recession andrecurrent occasional ones), strong winds and other serious disasters should be among starting points. At the end of this paper, the contributions that tropical agriculture can make to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in win-win situations are also dealt with. Soil carbon sequestration has a higher mitigation potential than emission reductions in African agriculture, although both may be important. These are best achieved under management systems with higher carbon density, as well as improved soilconservation. Agroforestry, assisted natural regeneration, forest  rehabilitation, forest gardens, and improved forest fallow projects should all be eligible under the Clean Development Mechanism. Throughout the paper text boxes are used that illustrate local conditions that must be taken into account to understand the impacts/consequences of climate change for African farmers and how they may cope with them.Key words: Disasters, extreme events, famine, mitigation
  • Consumption of leafy vegetables in rural households in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, Nigeria

    Adeyanju, A (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-03-20)
    Problem of low consumption of vegetables by all in order to alleviate   nutrition-related diseases is still unresolved. This study investigated the pattern of consumption of leafy vegetables among the inhabitants of Ijebu-Igbo enclave in Ogun State, Nigeria. The instrument of data  collection was interview schedule used to collect information from 175 respondents sampled through simple random sampling technique from five quarters in the locality. The head of the household was interviewed and question items ranged from socio-economic characteristics of  respondents to handling of and type of leafy vegetables consumed, and awareness of the importance of consumption of these vegetables.  Consumption of leafy vegetables which was the dependent variable wasmeasured on an eight point scale. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The descriptive statistics involved frequency tallies, percentages and averages while the inferential statistics used was chi-square analysis ( X 2). The results showed that most (74.9%) of the respondents were literate, having secondary education and above, mostly (69.1%) females, married (56%) and predominantly Christians (74. 3%). They were mostly (37%) traders and (22%) farmers. The level of vegetable consumption was low, an average of 1.57 times weekly in the study area with ‘Ugwu’ being most preferred over other vegetables which were celosia, waterleaf, amaranthus and okra leaf. Only 35.4% of the respondents consumed vegetables adequately but not properly handled or prepared. This is only 31.4% of the recommended intake of 5 times daily. Only 9.1% of them adopted the most appropriate method of preparation and handling of vegetables for maximum absorption of nutrients but the closest method to the recommended method was adopted by most (42%). The results of the hypotheses testing at 95% confidence level showed a significant relationship between marital status (x2=0.26), religion  (x2=0.94), awareness level (x2=0.96) and consumption level. The study, therefore, recommended a more strategic awareness-raising campaign and nutrition education to agricultural extension and rural development agencies in order to influence people’s behaviour in making vegetables consumption a lifestyle in the study area.Key words: consumption, leafy vegetable, rural household
  • Plantain, banana and wheat flour composites in bread making: Prospects for industrial application

    Adeniji, TA (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2015-10-28)
    Bread is one of the most convenient, least expensive and most important staple foods in the world today. It is usually fermented and baked into loaves or cakes. Bread making has been with the Chinese for 5000 years and has also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and reported widely in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible and in the Holy Qur’an. Bread was introduced to Nigeria probably about two centuries ago either by white colonialists or it may have been acquired from the Arabs through the Trans-Saharan trade with the Fulanis and Hausas of Northern Nigeria, especially during the eras of Mali and Songhaï Empires. Wheat bread is widely consumed in all parts of Africa. Research into the use of indigenous raw materials in the production of composite bread, cakes and confectionery products has been carried out in several African research institutes and universities. These investigations have proven beyond doubt the baking potentials of various tropical crops including plantain and banana. Improved varieties of plantain and banana have been developed and widely distributed to farmers in West and Central Africa as well as East and Southern Africa by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). This effort was complemented by extensive post-harvest research on new product development and evaluation from various accessions of plantain and banana hybrids. Transformation of fruits at different stages of ripening involving different processing techniques, packaging and preservation of new products was disseminated to farmers and food processors. This was necessary to add value to fresh plantain and banana, reduce post-harvest loss, enhance product diversification and provide jobs. Despite these approaches, there has been limited effort to implement composite bread technology in developing countries at the industrial level. This paper is a review of the application of tropical crops, especially plantain and banana in bread making. Output of this review may provide impetus for sustainable adoption of non-wheat or composite wheat bread making technology in Africa.Keywords: Plantain, wheat, baking, composite, bread, banana, postharvest, industrial, evaluation, adoption
  • Diversity and immune boosting claims of some African indigenous leafy vegetables in western Kenya

    Kang’ethe, EK; Mwangi, AM; Tumwet, TN1; Kogi-Makau, W (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-03-20)
    A survey was carried out to document the diversity and immune boosting claims of African indigenous leafy vegetables (AILVs) in Western Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used. The results showed that there is diversity of AILVs in the study area with nine popular and frequently consumed, but cassava leaves, stinging nettle and russian comfry are not popular. Seven of these are cultivated but two, stinging nettle (Urtica massaica) and vine spinach (Basella alba) grow wildly. The AILVs are cultivated at subsistence level on home gardens withminimal inputs and only excess of this is sold. The religion one belonged to was significant (p&lt;0.05) in determining consumption or not of some of the vegetables. The vegetables are rain fed and the process of harvesting is by first uprooting during thinning followed by breaking the main stem and finally plucking off the leaves with maturity. Vegetable preparation in most households was mainly by women. The elderly women were keen in this process and spent more time in preparing the vegetables which were believed to be ‘nutritious’. There was no processing and preservation of the AILVs for use during the dry season. The communities rely on wild weeds during such seasons. The AILVs though consumed for good nutrition are also associated with various medicinal and immune boosting claims. Out of the nine, five are known for various health benefits, African  nightshade and spider plant for good nutrition by 31.8% and 25.1% of the respondents, respectively, slender leaf for healing power by 34%, cowpea leaves and slender leaf for anti-aging by 50% and 43.8%, respectively, and cowpea leaves (43.6%) and amaranthus (53%) for smooth skin and adding blood, respectively. Chi square analysis indicated that African nightshade, spider plant and amaranthus are statistically significant (p&lt;0.05) incontributing to good nutrition, healthy functioning of the body and immune boosting. Further analysis showed that spider plant and amaranthus are significant (p&lt;0.05) for immune boosting.Key words: indigenous vegetables, diversity, immune boosting
  • Climate change and food security: The role of biotechnology

    Quaye, W; Yawson, RM; Ayeh, ES; Yawson, I (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2012-08-29)
    Several climate change related factors including temperature increases, changes in rainfall patterns and outbreak of pests and diseases negatively affect agricultural productivity and food security. Climate change effects significantly increase production risk and rural vulnerability, particularly in regions that already suffer from chronic soil and water resource scarcity or high exposure to climatic extremes, such as droughts and flooding. The effects of climate change on agriculture may depend not only on changing climate conditions, but also on the agricultural sector&amp;#8217;s ability to adapt through changes in technology and demand for food. Significant proportions of the growing populations in developing countries derive their livelihoods from agriculture and are, therefore, vulnerable to climate change effects. The task of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, as per Millennium Development Goals, will require both regional and global research efforts and concrete actions among which biotechnology adoption plays a key role. Advances in biotechnology can lead to cutting-edge technologies in agriculture. However, sub-Saharan Africafaces an uphill task with regard to the adoption and use of agricultural biotechnology. The potential to improve the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers is a strong incentive to meet the challenge. This paper reviews research work on climate change in relation to increasing food insecurity situation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and the significance of plant biotechnology in reversing the disturbing food insecurity trendson the continent. To move plant biotechnology forward, the paper recommends that African countries institutionalize effective bio-safety regulatory frameworks, and commit resources to capacity building and provision of infrastructure for biotechnology development. Funding of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) related research into tropical and sub-tropical staple foods, suitable for the needs of small-scale farmers in SSA countries, is strongly recommended. There is also the need for researchers to engage in effective education and communication with thegeneral public so as to enhance adoption of biotechnological products in Africa.
  • Effects of two commercial meat tenderizers on different cuts of goat\'s meat in Namibia

    Bille, PG; Taapopi, MS (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2009-01-08)
    Most meat consumed in Namibia is derived from poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs, despite the fact that majority of commercial and communal farmers in Namibia keep goats. Goat's meat is not available in the formal market or in the supermarkets in Namibia and is rarely used locally for domestic or commercial purposes due to ethical reasons, alleged poor taste, toughness and unpalatability. It is regarded by some to be for the poor sector of the community and for export only. Others consider goats as pets and a few consider goat's meat a delicacy for home use only. Research on meat tenderization has been carried out on beef, mutton and pork worldwide but very little has been done on goat meat. Meat tenderness has influence on softness, taste, palatability as well as preparation methods, carcass grade and meat price. Generally meat tenderness is indicated by age and species of the animal that indicate minimum cross linking of collagen and actomyosin effect in the muscles. In an attempt to increase goat's meat consumption in Namibia, two commercial meat tenderizers (acidic and enzymatic) were used and tested for their ability to tenderize different cuts of goat's meat. Three different cuts of the toughest parts of goat's meat, namely back, hind limbs and ribs were used for tenderization and to determine the effectiveness of the tenderizers. The first sample of three cuts was used for tenderizer one (acidic), the second for tenderizer two (enzymatic) and the third sample was un-tenderized and was used as a control. Trained panelists were asked to chew and evaluate tenderness of the coded braised goat meat samples on a hedonic scale and the mean results were subjected to statistical analysis. The results showed that the un-tenderized meat cuts (control) remained tough and hard compared to the tenderized ones, while there was no significant difference (p

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