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Review

African Leafy Vegetables for Improved Human Nutrition and Food System Resilience in Southern Africa: A Scoping Review

1
Centre for Transformative Agricultural and Food Systems, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
2
African Centre for Crop Improvement, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 3209, South Africa
3
School of Economics, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
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Plant and Crop Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
5
Department of Nutrition Dietetics and Food Science, Faculty of Science, University of Zimbabwe, 630 Churchill Avenue, Harare 0000, Zimbabwe
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandra Durazzo
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2896; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052896
Received: 16 January 2021 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Approaches to Mainstreaming Underutilized Crops)
The economic potential of African leafy vegetables (ALVs) remains obscured by a poorly developed value chain. This scoping review assembled and examined scattered knowledge generated on ALVs across southern Africa, focusing on production, processing, marketing, and consumption. Two electronic databases (Scopus and Web of Science) were screened, and a total of 71 relevant studies were included and evaluated. The review provides a state of the art on knowledge related to utilisation of ALVs across the entire value chain. The findings show that functional properties are of prime importance in the production and consumption of ALVs. However, the lack of improved germplasm and a non-existent seed supply system are significant production bottlenecks. Pests and diseases affecting the productivity of ALVs remain mostly unexplored. Sun-drying and boiling were the most reported post-harvest processing methods, suggesting that traditional processing methods are still prominent. Many studies also confirmed the predominance of informal markets in the trading of ALVs as they fail to penetrate formal markets because of poor product positioning and exclusion from produce demand and supply forecasts. The inception of cultivar development, mechanised processing methods, and market linkages will enhance the profitability of ALVs in the region. This review enhances the gaining of insight into the state of different value chain components will assist in upscaling production, value addition of products, and enhance marketing efficiency. There is a great opportunity for basic and applied research into ALVs. View Full-Text
Keywords: food and nutrition security; indigenous; sustainability; underutilised; value chain food and nutrition security; indigenous; sustainability; underutilised; value chain
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shayanowako, A.I.T.; Morrissey, O.; Tanzi, A.; Muchuweti, M.; Mendiondo, G.M.; Mayes, S.; Modi, A.T.; Mabhaudhi, T. African Leafy Vegetables for Improved Human Nutrition and Food System Resilience in Southern Africa: A Scoping Review. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052896

AMA Style

Shayanowako AIT, Morrissey O, Tanzi A, Muchuweti M, Mendiondo GM, Mayes S, Modi AT, Mabhaudhi T. African Leafy Vegetables for Improved Human Nutrition and Food System Resilience in Southern Africa: A Scoping Review. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052896

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shayanowako, Admire I.T., Oliver Morrissey, Alberto Tanzi, Maud Muchuweti, Guillermina M. Mendiondo, Sean Mayes, Albert T. Modi, and Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi. 2021. "African Leafy Vegetables for Improved Human Nutrition and Food System Resilience in Southern Africa: A Scoping Review" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2896. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052896

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