The significance of African vegetables in ensuring food security for South Africa’s rural poor
AbstractTechnologies and services provided to resource-poor farmers need to be relevant and compatible with the context in which they operate. This paper examines the contribution of extension services to the food security of resource-poor farmers in a rural village in South Africa. It considers these in terms of the local context and the production of African vegetables in household food plots. A mixture of participatory, qualitative and quantitative research tools, including a household survey, is used to argue that local production practices contribute more to food security requirements than the extension services. This is because of the ability of African vegetables to grow relatively well in semi-arid areas where other exotic plants do not, their ability to provide at least two foodstuffs during their life cycle, and the ability of either the fruit or the leaves, or both, to be dried and stored for consumption in the winter months. These crops can make a significant contribution in terms of household food security, but a number of social and agroecological factors are constraining their production and placing their availability under threat. Despite this, the extension services remain focused on certain activities within vegetable garden projects, even when these are not meeting their proposed purpose—food security by means of cash-crop production. The paper concludes that social and agroecological constraints could be improved if the extension services were changed. This could include the use of context specific and low-cost technologies to ensure that these crops are able to increase their contribution to household food security for resource-poor farmers in semi-arid areas. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.
Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- E. Nederlof & Constant Dangbégnon, 2007. "Lessons for farmer-oriented research: Experiences from a West African soil fertility management project," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 369-387, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.