Recipes for Success is about enhancing productivity and consumption of indigenous horticultural food crops for better nutrition and health through enhanced communication of research results in community-run resource centres. A one-year pilot project supported by the International Cooperation Development Fund, Taiwan and through the Global Horticulture Initiative, it aims to improve the nutritional status of underprivileged groups in Benin, Kenya and Tanzania by raising awareness on the production of and the access to traditional fruit and vegetables.
The central piece of this project is the establishment of “Health Clubs”. These are community-run resource centres, where farmers can access information about production and market opportunities and purchase quality seed of priority species. Training activities on fruits and vegetables for health and on cooking with traditional fruit and vegetable recipes were also carried out. As a result of an information collection exercise during these training events, factsheets were produced covering improved nutrition, hygienic and health aspects. Seed orchards and vegetable nurseries have also been set up around the Health Clubs, which will not only produce seedlings but also will serve as demonstration plots for future trainings on improved production practices. Priority species have been identified in a participatory approach for promotion (Ocimum gratissimum, Cleome gynandra, Moringa oleifera, Talinum triangulare and Vernonia spp).
Together with an envisaged baseline survey about effects of soil, climate, farming practices and nutrient content of indigenous fruit and vegetables, this information is expected to result in a continuous and much anticipated intensive dialogue between the rural communities and the project. Local support institutions, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders in the project locations are also strongly invited to become stakeholders of the project, with whom experiences and knowledge sharing can be strengthened in the future.
Feedback on the activities shows that the training on traditional recipes for fruits and vegetables has promoted an alert awareness on consumption of such crops as well as an increased interest in traditional foods in general. The exchange of information between women’s groups was thus highly stimulated and created much enthusiasm amongst participating farmers.
The donor of “Recipes for Success” is the Global Horticulture Initiative.