PROCEEDINS OF THE THIRD WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABLE HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN THE TROPICS
Abukutsa-Onyango, M.O., A.N. Muriithi, V.E. Anjichi, K. Ngamau and S.G. Agong (HAK, Kenya) A. Fricke, B. Hau and H. St¸tzel (Hannover, Germany)
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Millenium development goals include reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and poverty. To achieve this goal the horticultural sector cannot be left out and therefore can play an important part in poverty reduction. In Kenya over 50% of the rural communities live below the poverty line. Horticultural sector remains an important foreign exchange earner to Kenya and contributes significantly in the local diets. Currently it is the second largest foreign exchange earner, after tourism. Development of this sector will stimulate economic growth as well as provide employment opportunities. Due to growing competition for both domestic and export markets, growers, 80% of whom are small scale farmers, require technologies that are environmetal friendly and guarantee good health. Sustainable horticultural production would contribute significantly to the governmentís effort to alleviate poverty and empower the rural farmers. The first seminar on sustainable horticulture production in the tropics was held between 3rd and 6th October 2001 where three working groups were formed these were: Export crops, Biotechnology and African Indigenous Vegetables. In the second seminar held 6th -9th August 2002, sessions focussed on two key areas 1) Ways to a pesticide-reduced horticultural production in the tropics 2) efficient water and nutrient use in horticultural production in the tropics. In this this third seminar (workshop) the main focus was on African Indigenous vegetables and the venue was changed from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where the first two seminars were held to Maseno University. This University is in a region where a rich diversity of indigenous vegetables exist. Half of the workshop was dedicated to this topic and was in form of plenary sessions. It was realized that we cannot talk about sustainable horticultural production without bringing aboard the indigenous crops that have several value and potentials yet continue to be neglected. In this workshop the three working groups continued with their work that was started in the first seminar. The aim of establishing these groups was to concentrate on important issues in the wide field of sustainable horticultural production. The oral presentations that were complemented by poster presentations were in the first two days of the workshop and in the third and fourth days participants visited farmers growing indigenous vegetables. The workshop addressed several topics under the following themes: 1. Germplasm collection, characterization and seed multiplication of indigenous vegetables 2. Nutritive quality of indigenous vegetables and acceptability by consumers 3. Crop management of indigenous vegetables 4. Economic importance, marketing and technology transfer of indigenous vegetables 5. Export crops 6. Biotechnology 7. Other Horticultural crops The workshop organizing committee would like to thank all the authors who presented papers contained in these proceedings. We had an overwhelming response to our call for papers and we are grateful for the enthusiasm. We would like to express our appreciation to all the individuals who singly or collectively contributed to the organization and ultimate success of the workshop. We greatly thank the chairpersons of the sessions, rapporteurs, the editorial staff and all other HAK executive committee members for their various contributions. Special thanks to Prof Frederick N.Onyango, the Vice Chancellor Maseno University for providing us with enabling environment and Officially opening the workshop.Very special thanks go to German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the financial support that made the workshop a great success. Finally, we wish to sincerely acknowledge the support received from the Vice-Chancellor of JKUAT, Prof N.Wanjohi and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration, Planning and Development), Prof S.G. Agong and their presence and useful remarks during the opening session. We in particular, would like to thank Dr Mel Oluoch, training specialist from AVRDC-Regional Center for Africa for delivering a keynote address and Prof William R.Ochiengí, the Director, Institute of Research and Post-Graduate Studies (IRPS) , Maseno university for Officially closing the workshop.