Contract Farming: two successfully introduced vegetables

Today English spinach (by way of Kenya) and Kenyan sukuma wiki (kale; collard greens) were delivered by the project for the first time to the Hotel.

Neither of these greens is extensively grown in Burundi, but they are excellent to introduce to the Hotel menu and also to our farmers.  The first plantings of these two vegetables were not successful in the pilot plots, and so we tried again, with heavier watering and manure, the results are excellent.

‘Sukuma wiki’, in KiSwahili, literally means ‘pushing the week’ – because it is one of the most popular and cheapest dishes in Kenya, being served almost daily with maize porridge, as a way of ‘stretching’ the weekly food budget.

Young sukuma wiki on the left, spinach on the right

Sukuma wiki & spinach being watered by a contractee – due to intense tropical sun, watering always is in the evening

We are using goat manure, well as biological insecticide, both of which are working quite well.

The grower who is responsible for overseeing the project’s pilot crops, with technical assistance from the project, is also responsible for weighing/counting the amount of produce being sold by the different smallholders and for bringing the harvested crops to the Hotel (below).

First delivery of sukuma wiki (left) and spinach (right) to the hotel

Sukuma wiki and spinach in the cold room

Preparing spinach for lunch

Spinach being offered at the a la cart lunch. Less than four hours from harvest to table.

These will be excellent crops to be grown by the project’s farmers, who will be able to easily sell excess in the markets in Bujumbura.


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Contract-Farming, Food, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Contract Farming: two successfully introduced vegetables

  1. maria says:

    if amaranth can be grown successfully in burundi, i’d be surprised if spinach couldnt

    i know that in crete, there is a summer spinach variety, which probably needs less water than the wonter variety

    although amaranth is never grown in winter, i was surprised last year that it did manage to sprout and we were eating it until november (it usu stops being tasty by end of august) – i think this is due to climate change…


    • dianabuja says:

      The problem, I think was with the seeds we were using. A different variety of spinach seeds and it was fine.


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