Nairobi to host global vegetable conference

Participants in research conference for African indigenous vegetables. [File, Standard]

The World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) is set to hold Veggies for Planet and People (V4P&P) international conference in Nairobi, starting Tuesday.

The international non-profit vegetable research and development institute, with financial support from the IKEA Foundation, aims to tackle problems of sustainable farming, job opportunities and protecting the environment in East Africa.

Dr Ralph Roothaert, the World Vegetable Center Country Director for Kenya and Ethiopia noted that the V4P&P project enters its last implementation year (2024-2025).

The conference offers an opportunity to share knowledge, successful methods and practices and lessons learned from their research and development work.

Dr Roothaert emphasized the importance of fostering dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge exchange among stakeholders, partners and industry experts, to further advance sustainable agriculture and inclusive economic growth in the region.

“We invite stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, practitioners, entrepreneurs and all those passionate about sustainable agriculture and economic empowerment to join us at the ‘Veggies 4 Planet and People First International Conference,’ and together, let us shape a brighter future for our planet and people,” he said.

He said the conference's agenda involves engaging discussions and presentations centred on various themes, among them benefits and challenges for smallholder farmers in the long-term adoption of regenerative agricultural practices, and supporting the scaling up of agribusiness within regenerative agriculture market systems.

The forum will also focus on creating an enabling environment for regenerative agriculture by influencing national and regional policy agendas.

In 2019, WorldVeg and its partners joined forces to launch the ‘Veggies 4 Planet & People’ (V4P&P) initiative, a project with a mission to promote regenerative agricultural practices and create opportunities for youth and women in the vegetable sector.

With a budget of €6.6 million and implemented in collaboration with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), WorldVeg through V4P&P has been at the forefront of driving a positive change in the horticultural sector in Ethiopia and Kenya.

WorldVeg’s vital contributions, including its globally important genebank, improved varieties, production, and postharvest methods, play a crucial role in helping farmers increase their vegetable harvests, raise incomes in poor rural and urban households

It also creates jobs and provides healthier, more nutritious diets for families and communities.

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