Field vegetable production in Africa is important in terms of area, food, nutrition and employment. Due to population growth and urbanisation the demand for commercially produced high quality vegetables is growing.
Presently growers of field vegetables often lack knowledge on production methods with which year-round high quality products are ready for supply at the time and in the quantities required by the markets. By developing these methods a better integration of field vegetable growers in the supply chain will be achieved, resulting in a higher income for the farmer and affordable, higher quality products for the consumer.
To gain insight in the opportunities of farmers to invest in the application of these methods, a good understanding of the economics of production and investment opportunities is required.
The scientific relevance is in the lack of knowledge on field establishment and harvest planning of tropical vegetables. The proposed research in Tanzania follows work done in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. For the Red River Delta a model was developed to design and test permanent, sustainable and profitable vegetable production systems for the local conditions (PermVeg). The final research aim of the work is to evaluate the applicability of this model under African conditions and to develop recommendations for improved vegetable production systems for the local situations.
The research focuses on:
- The development of methods of improved transplant production that are cost effective and that can be used by the local farmers.
- The development of planting schemes and harvest planning methods for field vegetables under the local conditions.
- Collect data for a better understanding of farm management practises and costs in African field vegetable production in a pilot study in the Arusha area, Tanzania.
- Scaling up of methods to other areas in Tanzania.