Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 299

Full Length Research Paper

Participatory characterization and evaluation of some African leafy vegetables in Lari, Kiambu West District, Central Kenya

Jane Muthoni1* D. O. Nyamongo2 and Mary Silingi3
  1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, National Potato Research Center, Tigoni, P. O. Box 30148 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 2National Genebank of Kenya, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. P. O. Box 30148 00100, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 November 2009
  •  Published: 28 February 2010



Production and consumption of African leafy vegetables (ALVs) is generally low in Central Kenya, yet micronutrient and vitamin malnutrition in some parts is high particularly among young children and women in childbearing age. This work was conducted in Lari division, Kiambu West district and its objective was to participatorily characterize and evaluate selected ALVs with small-scale farmers. A total of 31 accessions of spiderplants (Cleome gynandra), amaranths (Amaranthus spp.) and African nightshades (Solanum spp.) were participatorily characterized by four farmer groups comprising over 80 members. The following traits were evaluated: Number of leaves per plant, leaf colour, branches/plant and organoleptic test. Most farmers preferred highly leafed and branched genotypes with dark green leaves. In organoleptic test, there was a wide variation among all accessions evaluated.


Key words:  ALVs, Lari division, participatory on-farm characterization.