SP 13
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17.08.2017 16:52 Age: 3 yrs
Category: SP 13, General HORTINLEA

Queen of African Indigenous Vegetables visits researchers in Freiburg and Karlsruhe

Researchers from three different HORTINLEA subprojects met with the research team of SLE at Max Rubner-Institute at Karlsruhe. © MRI

Prof Mary Abukutsa thanks researchers from SPs 4 and 5 – they believe that some African indigenous vegetables could potentially play a role in cancer prevention.

From August 7th to 8th a research team led by Prof Mary Abukutsa-Onyango from the Kenyan Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Dr Emil Gevorgyan from the Centre for Rural Development (SLE) at Humboldt University of Berlin visited researchers at Freiburg University and at Max Rubner-Institut in Karlsruhe. The researchers from Freiburg conducted in-vitro experiments that showed that by consuming Ethopian Kale, an African Indigenous Vegetable (AIV), one could potentially be less affected by aflatoxins, carcinogenic substances commonly present in food infested by fungi. “Your research is a valuable addition to bringing back African Indigenous Vegetables into the Kenyan cuisine. You therefore contribute to nutrition security, improved health and improved economic status of many people”, Abukutsa said to the researchers. Prof Abukutsa has been studying African indigenous vegetables for more than 20 years and is also known as the queen of them.

African Indigenous Vegetables are key to fighting nutrition insecurity in Kenya

In 2017, more than 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition globally. This so-called hidden hunger limits physical and mental development. Due to its importance, malnutrition was one of the debated topics during the presidential election that took place on the 8th of August. Because of their high content in micronutrients, African indigenous vegetables are of key importance in fighting malnutrition; they could also potentially play a role in cancer prevention.

Young professionals in international development conduct project focusing on the dissemination of innovations related to African Indigenous Vegetables

The events took place within the framework of the “HORTINLEA days”, which were organized by a team of young professionals from the postgraduate program at the Centre for Rural Development (SLE) at Humboldt University. They collected research findings at various German partner sites, such as Karlsruhe and Freiburg, within the research collaboration project HORTINLEA in order to integrate them into the project "Circular knowledge exchange for food and nutrition security – Establishing a sustainable knowledge and innovation network for African Indigenous Vegetables in Kenya”. The aim is to promote exchange between different actors regarding production, trade and consumption of the vegetables.


© Julia Legelli, Colleen O’Connor