Post harvest handling of African leafy vegetables by value addition in order to economically empower women in Western Kenya.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the only major region in the world where poverty is increasing rather than decreasing and where human development indicators are worsening. A major cause of this negative development in SSA is the ongoing crisis in agriculture. Arable land, the natural resource base on which Agriculture-the mainstay for most SSA countries- greatly depends, is increasingly becoming degraded through deforestation, soil fertility depletion, soil erosion and water scarcity (Sanchez et al., 1997; Woomer, et al., 1997).
The number of poor people will have risen from around 90 million in 1999 to 404 million by 2015 (Economic Commission for Africa, 2005). Micronutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin A and iron, are major impediments to social and economic development, and impair learning ability, growth, productivity and development (WHO, 2002). Malnutrition, especially in children is a significant problem in developing countries and notably in Africa. Of the 12 million deaths of children under the age of five that occurs annually, 555 of them are due to malnutrition (Bekele, 1998) An additional 146 million children who are underweight are at high risk of dying from malnutrition because mortality rate   increases exponentially with declining weight (UNICEF, 2006). Malnutrition is rampant in the tropics where per capita vegetable supplies in most countries fall far short of the minimum recommended 73 kg/person/year. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), per capita vegetable supplies are only 43% of required, leading to widespread malnutrition. In Kenya and Tanzania, 40%-45% of pregnant and nursing women suffer from anemia while 25%-30% of children under five are stunted and highly susceptible to infectious diseases. Micronutrient deficiency is a major cause of morbidity, disease and mortality among resource-poor women and...