Rejection of African Indigenous Food: The Case of Rwanda
Lack of diversified diets, due to colonialization and nutrition transition, is the leading cause of the double burden of malnutrition in the country where the progress to reduce undernutrition is slow and obesity rates are rapidly rising. Consumption of indigenous foods has proven to diversify diets, but very few studies have been conducted to assess which ones are available for consumption in Rwanda. The purpose of this study was to assess the availability and use of indigenous foods in Rwanda.
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[00:00:03.410]Thank you so much for attending
my presentation today.
[00:00:06.230]My name is Eugene Baraka and I'm a senior majoring in integrated science at UNL.
[00:00:11.690]My research is entitled
Rejection of African indigenous
food: The case of Rwanda
[00:00:18.380]Rwanda is a landlocked country in East
Africa and its population has been
over the past few years.
[00:00:25.040]This makes it the second most densely
populated country on the continent.
[00:00:30.860]it has been colonized by both
Germany and Belgium between 1899
[00:00:35.990]and 1962 and the colonizers
controlled the nation's land
[00:00:40.910]and food systems.
[00:00:42.350]They introduced cash crops such
as tea that currently takes a huge
[00:00:47.240]portion of the land in the country.
[00:00:50.180]The nation is currently
in a nutrition transition.
[00:00:53.510]People are moving towards a Western-style diet and rejecting their own
[00:00:58.220]indigenous crops and
knowledge. At the same time,
[00:01:01.730]both undernutrition and
obesity as skyrocketing,
[00:01:04.910]but how did the country get
here in the first place?
[00:01:08.750]How did we get to a stage where we
don't want to conserve and use our own
[00:01:15.440]In his recently published
article, Seburanga States
[00:01:21.380]"in many countries European colonization,
[00:01:24.080]resulted in cultural desintegration
and erosion of indigenous knowledge
[00:01:28.910]that made citizens lose interest in
their own cultural heritage and adopt
[00:01:34.070]imperial know-how. During the
same time, native biodiversity,
[00:01:38.480]that was once maintained by the
tradition it shaped declined. Alien crops
[00:01:43.280]prospered, and finally
[00:01:48.740]Indigenous food in
Rwanda started many years ago,
[00:01:52.940]due to colonial control. This has
decreased biodiversity in the country,
[00:01:58.100]which was proven to be one of the main
stimulants of malnutrition Worldwide.
[00:02:03.260]Recent research has shown that
use, conservation, and protection of
[00:02:08.210]indigenous foods help achieve
[00:02:12.320]Plus they're really affordable, more nutritious,
and more resistant to climate change
[00:02:18.320]Despite their importance in achieving
zero hunger in the Rwanda, little is
[00:02:23.030]known about what
indigenous crops are available.
[00:02:28.970]Therefore, the aim of this study
was to answer these questions,
[00:02:33.640]which WHO food categories are
available in Kigali's open-air markets,
[00:02:38.570]which African indigenous food can be
purchased in Kigali open-air markets.
[00:02:45.470]what is the proportion of
African indigenous foods to
exotic foods in the sampled
[00:02:50.270]markets. To answer these questions,
[00:02:53.690]we inventoried three open
air markets in Kigali.
[00:02:57.710]The markets are Nyabugogo
Kigali city, and Kimironko markets.
[00:03:03.250]Data collection consisted of walking
through all three markets and recording
[00:03:07.720]all consumables available for sale.
[00:03:12.070]Data were collected between
October and December of 2020.
[00:03:15.460]Then the data from all three
markets were combined in Microsoft
[00:03:20.050]Excel. And finally,
[00:03:22.090]all markets were visited twice to
ensure we record the widest number of
[00:03:27.790]All consumables were
categorized using the FAO/WHO individual food consumption
methodology for groups and subgroups
[00:03:39.640]We identified the place of
origin for each food.
[00:03:43.180]And then we compare the nutritional
value of some African indigenous food to
[00:03:47.950]that of similar items
from other continent.
[00:03:50.890]So the results of our research
shows that there were a
[00:03:55.600]total of 62 spaces falling
into seven categories,
[00:04:00.310]and these categories were
cereals, fish, fruits, legumes,
[00:04:05.020]root crops, meat/dairy, and vegetables.
[00:04:10.330]Of all species found in
the markets only a quarter,
[00:04:14.440]was indigenous to Africa and
the rest from other regions.
[00:04:23.020]represent all consumables
found in the market.
[00:04:25.720]They are indigenous to four continents,
which are Africa, the Americas,
[00:04:30.310]Asia, and Europe.
[00:04:33.880]Table 1 shows food indigenous to Africa.
[00:04:37.630]Most of these species in
Kigalis market where fish
[00:04:42.730]Tables 2 and 3 show that
[00:04:47.380]fruits were mostly from the
Americas and Asia. For the fruits
[00:04:52.450]available in the markets,
[00:04:53.890]only watermelon and the African
eggplants are indigenous to Africa.
[00:04:58.240]And they make up to 10% of
the fruits in the markets.
[00:05:03.970]Most vegetables were indigenous
to the Americas and Europe,
[00:05:08.590]as they're presented in Tables 2 and 4
[00:05:13.960]which are lettuce and mushrooms made up to
[00:05:18.700]14% of all vegetables
available in open-air markets
[00:05:23.440]inventoried. And finally,
[00:05:25.720]there were no legumes from Africa
in the sampled open-air markets,
[00:05:31.690]Because Rwanda is currently
in a nutrition transition.
[00:05:35.260]it needs to diversify diets to reduce
the double burden of malnutrition.
[00:05:40.210]Indigenous millet species
like as finger millet.
[00:05:43.750]Were not present in any of the markets
despite their high nutrition value.
[00:05:50.260]Finger millet is rich in
methionine, an amino acid.
[00:05:53.250]that is lacking in many
diets around the world.
[00:05:56.730]The pearl millet has three
times as much iron and more
[00:06:01.250]protein than maize. However,
[00:06:04.340]it was only available in flour form.
[00:06:08.780]Millet and sorghum, uh, are
the only African indigenous
[00:06:13.670]species in the cereals category.
[00:06:18.140]But there were also only available in
the flour form; they're more drought
[00:06:23.150]and heat resistant than
either rice, wheat, and maize,
[00:06:27.050]which are commonly used in Rwanda,
African indigenous legumes,
[00:06:32.150]such as cowpeas and pigeon peas
were not found in any of the sample
[00:06:38.480]they have higher
folic acid and vitamin A
[00:06:44.630]Briefly indigenous foods are
often more nutritious than exotic ones.
[00:06:49.490]They're also more resistant
to drought and heat stress
[00:06:53.930]They can also be grown
in high altitudes. However,
[00:06:58.670]these species are seldom
available in markets.
[00:07:03.380]Most indigenous foods,
uh, are near extinction.
[00:07:10.810]To conclude adoption of
global food systems is
[00:07:19.240]and conservation of traditional food
crops and indigenous knowledge is vital
[00:07:24.970]use and appreciation of
indigenous food is essential to
[00:07:29.650]improving the nutrition status and
reducing the double burden of malnutrition
[00:07:36.610]Because of this, we have
[00:07:40.480]The first one is educating about the
importance of indigenous foods in schools,
cooperatives, and communities.
[00:07:49.270]The second one is focusing
on investing in nutrition,
[00:07:53.680]research on food indigenous
to Africa, and Rwanda.
[00:08:00.130]Thirdly focus on a more nutrition
[00:08:05.620]and then focus on management and
conservation of indigenous food resources
[00:08:10.660]and last but not least strengthening,
existing programs to encourage
the use of indigenous
[00:08:18.820]foods. For example, in
Rwanda, we can use
[00:08:21.820]the kitchen gardens to strengthen
and encourage the cultivation of
[00:08:26.650]indigenous food crops. That
was the end of my presentation.
[00:08:31.030]Thank you so much.
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