Demonstration agronomy - indigenous leafy vegetables

R2.8 million has been allocated to a project that aims to provide a source of commercial-quality indigenous and indigenised food seed. It will achieve this by establishing a seed-supply facility at the Agricultural Research Council Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (ARC) ( facility.  The ARC maintains 402 indigenous and indigenised vegetables as seed or in glass houses.

The following indigenous food crops can be cultivated and propagated for seed in isolated cages by maintaining pollination distances:
Chinese cabbage, nightshade, amaranthus, jute mallow, cowpeas, pumpkin, spiderplant, Cleome gynandra, Chorchorus, amadumbe, Chenopodium, kale and rape, and wild melon.

The success of indigenous food seed market expansion will depend on the production of indigenous vegetables at rural-based universities. The Universities of Zululand, Limpopo, Fort Hare and North West will be sites for satellite seed production.  A beekeeper will supply hives and transfer knowledge as part of the project which, it is also hoped, will attract the interest of commercial seed companies.


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