World Vegetable Center receives grants from Germany
Two new projects in Tanzania and Keyna will enhance tomato production and raise the profile of a traditional vegetable that can do double duty as a leafy green and a grain.
The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) is pleased to announce it has received two grants from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support vegetable research and development activities in Tanzania and Kenya.
“Amazing Amaranth: Hardy and nutritious amaranth lines and food practices to improve nutrition in East Africa” (EUR 1,200,000) aims to increase availability and consumption of improved nutrient-rich amaranth cultivars. Leaves of amaranth provide essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium lacking in local diets, and the plant also produces a high-protein grain. WorldVeg will investigate amaranth lines that can serve both purposes, and also seeks to breed cultivars with low levels of oxalates in the leaves.
“GrAfrica: Introduce grafted plantlets to improve yield and income of smallholder tomato producers in sub-Saharan Africa” (EUR 100,000) builds on the Center’s decades of experience in vegetable grafting. The GrAfrica project plans to teach grafting methods to 50 trainers and 12 nursery operators (preferentially youth and women), who will in turn share their knowledge and skills with 2,500 tomato producers in Tanzania.
“We’re excited about the prospect of bringing the benefits of improved amaranth to people whose diets are deficient in important nutrients, and also to introduce grafting to Africa, where we expect it will have a significant impact,” said Dr. David Johnson, WorldVeg Deputy Director General – Research. “BMZ has been an outstanding supporter of the Center’s research for many years and we welcome the opportunity to continue this positive and productive relationship.”