Participatory characterization and evaluation of some African leafy vegetables in Lari, Kiambu West District, Central Kenya


Jane Muthoni D. O. Nyamongo and Mary Silingi

Production and consumption of African leafy vegetables (ALVs) is generally low in Central Kenya, yet micronutrient and vitamin malnutrition in some parts is high particularly among young children and women in childbearing age. This work was conducted in Lari division, Kiambu West district and its objective was to participatorily characterize and evaluate selected ALVs with small-scale farmers. A total of 31 accessions of spiderplants (Cleome gynandra), amaranths (Amaranthus spp.) and African nightshades (Solanum spp.) were participatorily characterized by four farmer groups comprising over 80 members. The following traits were evaluated: Number of leaves per plant, leaf colour, branches/plant and organoleptic test. Most farmers preferred highly leafed and branched genotypes with dark green leaves. In organoleptic test, there was a wide variation among all accessions evaluated.

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