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POWER ON YOUR PLATE

Traditional Vegetables

PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS!

WELL ADAPTED AND
CLIMATE RESILIENT!

TASTE SO GOOD!

BUT WHAT ARE  TRADITIONAL VEGETABLES?

A traditional vegetable is one that’s easy to grow, nutritious, and popular among certain populations in specific locations. In one place it’s a favorite local food, while in another, due to a lack of knowledge about these valuable plants, it might be considered a weed.

Wherever they are gathered, grown and consumed, traditional vegetables help diversify production systems, farm income, and diets.

AMARANTH

Tasty leaves AND a versatile high-protein grain, all in one amazing plant!

JUTE MALLOW

Enjoy this outstanding source of vitamin C and iron.

SPIDER PLANT

Cleome gynandra adds tangy taste, plenty of vitamins A & C, iron, protein and much more to meals.

AFRICAN NIGHTSHADE

Young shoots and leaves can be steamed, blanched, boiled, or stir-fried to enrich meals.

COWPEA LEAVES

Leaves are a great source of vitamin E and other nutrients, young green pods can be eaten fresh, steamed or stir-fried, and the dried beans can be used in many dishes.

AFRICAN EGGPLANT

The fruit resembles eggs, the leaves are tasty and nutritious.

ETHIOPIAN MUSTARD

Tender leaves and stems enrich soups and stews…and add important glucosinolates to the diet.

OKRA

Some call it lady’s fingers; we call it delicious! Abelmoschus esculentus offers plenty of folic acid and antioxidants.

RECIPES

Make a new tradition in your household!

TAKE ACTION

Eat more traditional vegetables!

1. Ask local farmers to start producing these nutritious crops for market sale.

2. Ask local vegetable vendors and supermarkets to include traditional vegetables at their stalls and stores.

3. Grow your own traditional vegetables!

4. Save seed of traditional vegetables.

5. Hold a traditional vegetable tasting party for your friends and family!

6. Support the work of the WorldVeg Genebank!

RESEARCH

Creating and extending knowledge

Researchers at the World Vegetable Center have been studying the distribution, composition, and use of traditional vegetables in Africa and Asia for decades. This is a brief sampling of journal articles and books produced by WorldVeg about traditional vegetable crops. We invite you to explore this fascinating topic further in HARVEST, the WorldVeg  document and data archive.

DONORS

Investing in tradition

Investing in nutrition

  • Long-term strategic contributions to WorldVeg research
  • Project Hort4Nut: Improving nutrition and income of smallholder farmers in Eastern Africa using a market-driven approach to enhance value chain production of African indigenous vegetables
  • Project: Improving the nutritional status and income of smallholder farmer households through scaling improved, nutrient-dense traditional African vegetables in the Zanzibar Islands
  • Project: Tajikistan nutrition-sensitive vegetable technologies – Phase 2
  • Project: Deploying Improved Vegetable Technologies to Overcome Malnutrition and Poverty in Mali
  • Long-term strategic contributions to WorldVeg research
  • Project: Unleashing the economic power of vegetables in Africa through quality seed of improved varieties
  • Project: Improving production of Solanum aethiopicum in Africa