Why Tanzania is ahead
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CTA. 2008. Why Tanzania is ahead. Agfax Resource Pack. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57399
A journalist from Kampala and a researcher from Malawi visit Arusha?s Kilombero market. They are amazed by the variety and quantity of traditional African vegetables being sold here. They compare the market with the situation in their own countries, where many of the same plants are eaten, but they are seldom found in markets. They discuss what kind of people are buying, and how the vegetables can be cooked to preserve their nutritional content.
Why Tanzania is ahead in traditional vegetables Jarret Mhango Mzuzu University, Malawi Suggested introduction All African countries have traditional leafy vegetables. In many places these have been neglected, but not in Tanzania. In Arusha ? which is in the north of the country - the last ten years has seen a steady increase in trade in a whole range of traditional vegetables in the town?s biggest market. So why is Tanzania ahead? Wambi Michael, a journalist from Uganda, went to the busy Kilombero market one late afternoon with Jarret Mhango, a university lecturer from Malawi who specializes in neglected crops. As they walked together between tables stacked high with lovely vegetables, they were amazed at the quantity of deep green leaves all bundled ready for sale. Track 6 In SFX Market. ?So we are now in the middle ? Out ?Thank you.? Duration 6?14? Suggested closing announcement: Wambi Michael and Jarret Mhango, who were visiting Arusha?s Kilombero market. Contact details: Jarret Mhango, Mzuzu University, Private bag 201, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2, Malawi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Transcript SFX Market. Michael So we are now in the middle of Kilombero Market in Arusha. Mhango We came to see what it is like here, especially in terms of what underutilised plants are being sold on the market. Michael What have you observed so far? Mhango It is amazing and it is a wonderful experience for me and I was here about ten years ago and I can see a tremendous change. There is so much African indigenous vegetables being sold, much more than I have ever seen anywhere before in Africa. Michael How do you call this one in Malawi? Mhango In Malawi this one is called bonongwe, but it is Amaranthus. Michael For us in Uganda we call it dodo. How nutritious is dodo? Mhango It is very rich in vitamins, especially the carotene because you see it is a very deep green. But it also has a lot of mineral salts like calcium, much, much more than even you would take from a cabbage. Michael Which type of people take these vegetables? Mhango I would say things are changing. In the past it was for the traditional people, the poor people in the village but I would not say so today. You see they are here for sale, who buys vegetables? It is people who have the money. So I am sure things are changing, it is for everybody. Michael And we are here at another stall which has potato leaves. In Uganda most communities do not eat potato leaves. Do you in Malawi eat potato leaves? Mhango Yes in Malawi potato leaves are a delicacy, but I have not seen them so much being sold as they are here. People normally just pluck from their own garden and eat. Michael Is that one of the differences you have noticed between Arusha and Malawi? Mhango Very much, they do not know that this is money in Malawi. They prefer to just eat from the garden; and this is nightshade. African nightshade. Michael In my village it is called isufa, but it is sour. Most people do not eat it. Mhango And that is what it is, and that is what we like about it. Michael What is good with that one? Mhango It is highly nutritious, it has its own peculiar flavour, the nightshade flavour I would say, yes. Michael Over there we have cassava leaves. Do you in Malawi eat cassava leaves as vegetables? Mhango Yes in Malawi, I would say in Malawi and Tanzania we have a lot of similarities. Cassava leaves are eaten as a vegetable, it is a delicacy to many communities and it is a good vegetable. But the selling bit is what I find it very difficult to understand here because in Malawi you do not see people really selling these indigenous vegetables as much as I have seen here. Michael Jarret can you take me over there where we have other types of vegetables. In Kampala we have these ones, do you have these ones in Malawi too? Mhango Yes this is the African eggplant. We have it, but I understand this is even the improved type which has come from the World Vegetable Centre in Tengeru and I just feel like I should just take some home because we do not have. Ours are the bitter type, the old traditional ones but I hear this is an improved type. But it is an African eggplant. Michael We also have this one, it is called amalakwang. What is this one in Malawi? Mhango In Malawi we call this terere. Michael Terere. Mhango Terere, it is the sliminess yes, so this is called terere in my country. Michael Is it delicious? Mhango Highly delicious. We can prepare it just like another vegetable but sometimes people add the bicarbonate of soda to it, which is not very good for nutrition anyway. Michael So how do you prepare it, the normal way of preparing it? Mhango The normal, the traditional way is to add bicarbonate of soda and some tomato, that is it, you fix it. So it gets that sliminess. But now we are encouraging people to fry it, add a bit of, if you do not have cooking oil you may simply cut your onions and tomato and mix them and boil, it will be ok. Michael Jarret you have been here for four days, have you been eating vegetables? Mhango I have eaten some of these but I wish we had eaten more of the indigenous vegetables. Because we are put up at the hotel, I do not know what happens, they do not feed you the materials that are supposed to be traditional as these are. Michael So you have toured Kilombero Market. What have you learnt most? Mhango It is a good market. It was not like this ten years ago. Well organised, quiet. I can see people are very orderly, there is no noise. It is a good market. Michael It seems like there is some sort of segregation. You find this side there is improved vegetables then the other side we see these indigenous here. Mhango Yes I think it is a matter of choice. They are giving people the choice to choose. If they want to go that way they go and if they want to come this side they come. But one thing that has encouraged me the most is the women are at the heart of it. You can see most of these vegetables are being sold by the women. Michael Where are the men in the market? Mhango I believe the men, they are saying ?radios? or whatever elsewhere. They believe that the indigenous vegetables are for the women but it is good money I guess for them. There is so much gender segregation pertaining to some of these things in such a way that there are certain activities which are basically taken as a woman?s job. I am not surprised because traditionally, women have gone to gather these vegetables where they have been growing, because they have never been cultivated. Michael In Kampala too you find the tendency of women dominating sale of fresh vegetables. Maybe what is the situation like in Lilongwe? Mhango That one I would say it is the same in Malawi. Basically it is the women who sell vegetables, very few men if any. If a man is selling maybe it is cabbage or tomato, but not much more. Michael What can be done to promote indigenous vegetables? Mhango I think we need to go on the awareness campaigns. We need to teach people how to grow them. Because you know they used just to sprout spontaneously when the rains come and then they go but now people need to know that they can cultivate indigenous vegetables just like any other crop. So they should no longer be looked at that way. It is a crop just like any other crop, but even more important, because it is more nutritious. After all, it has the African taste. Michael Thank you very much. Mhango Thank you. End of track.