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close this bookTraditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)
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View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentLocal names
View the documentColour plates
Open this folder and view contentsSpecies accounts
View the documentAppendix: Nutritional composition of edible parts of plants
View the documentGlossary
View the documentBibliography
View the documentList of families and species
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The production of any ethnobiological work involves an enormous number of people. A few of those involved in the production of this book are mentioned here, but all those who are not should feel that their role was also important and is appreciated.

Work of the Indigenous Food Plants Programme (IFPP) which led to this book would not have been possible without the generous grant from the Ford Foundation for which we are deeply grateful. In this connection special thanks go to Dianne Rocheleau and Eric Rusten, Program Officers at the Ford Foundation's Eastern and Southern Africa Office in Nairobi, for their great interest and encouragement throughout the IFPP period.

We are grateful to the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) for providing funds through their Eastern Africa Regional Office in Dar-es-Salaam for production education and extension materials. In this Scott Walter, and later Julie Holder, were very helpful. In addition, the programme received seed money from Nog Meer Binding Foundation and Columbine Foundation of the Netherlands.

We are grateful to Richard L. Leakey former Director and later Mohamed Isahakia Director National Museums of Kenya for their encouragement given to IFPP.

In nutritional research, we are indebted to S. Mbugua and J. Imungi of the Department of Food Science, University of Nairobi for their support and permission to use laboratory facilities for food-value analyses.

Of particular mention and appreciation is the contribution made by the management and staff of IFPP in implementing the programme: Moses Mbugua, Secretary General, Kenya Freedom From Hunger Council (KFFHC); Grace Kanyua, Director, Worldview International Foundation Kenya (WIF); Joe Kuhn who initiated the programme and worked tirelessly to get it off the ground; Matthijs de Vreede who assisted in the programme design and continued to provide advice; David Lowe and later Bernard Muchiri, Coordinators; Abbey Olendi, Nutritionist; Gatonye Gathura, Communications officer; Jane Makumi, Programme Secretary; Nicholas Maina, Driver; and the late Peter Olala, Gardener.

The success of IFPP depended highly on local leaders and committed field collaborators who took the programme as their own, and to the local communities contained in this book and to whom much of it belongs. We are deeply indebted to them all.

Kajiado: J. Kimani of Maasai Rural Training Centre (MRTC) and the staff of the Elang'ata Wuas Ecosystem Management Programme, especially Charles Samperu, Ezekiel Roimen, Irene Katete and David Moile.

Baringo and Koibatek: Justus Kumu of the Food Security Programme and Fr Sean McGovern of the Kositei Catholic Mission.

Turkana: Mr Karanja of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Marketing (MALD&M);Turkana, KEFRI staff, especially Rosina Auren; the staff of the former Turkana Cultural Heritage Project (TCHP) and especially Sammy Emekwi Nalukoowoi, John Rigano, Geoffrey Clarfield, Dominic Akeno, John Ekales, Pauline Lokuruka, and Christopher Eweikar of Kaputir Community Health Clinic.

Kilifi and Malindi: the staff of the Malindi NGO programme in Magarini Division. Special thanks go to Shida Kaplanga, Shadrack Magambo, Mary Ngonyo, Charles Nzai, Rachael Kafedha, Esther Gona, Samson Chengo and the late Edward Jeffwa for their commitment to the programme.

Nyandarua: the extension staff of the MAL&D and Olkalou Council. Special thanks go to Marion Kaniu, Kennedy, and Jane Mathenge.

Siaya: the staff of the Lake Victoria Programme I and II, and especially Justo Oremo.

Machakos, Makueni and Mwingi: Elkanah Odembo, Director, World Neighbors, and the staff of the World Neighbors Ukambani Programme, Arnold Maingi and F.S. Musembi.

Kitui: World Neighbors staff in Kitui, Alexander Mutiso and J. Syombua.

Some additional information which benefited the book was obtained in Kitui during the project on Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge Systems (INDAKS) implemented by Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge 1994 - 1997 and funded by the European Union through the Leiden Ethnosystems and Development Programme of Leiden University.

Final stages of the book and printing were made possible by funds provided by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); for this we are particularly grateful to Frank Attere, Dr Luigi Guarino and Henry Kamau (IPGRI), Christine Holding (RELMA, SIDA) and Robert Hoft (UNESCO) for their interest in seeing the book published. We are also most grateful for the invaluable contributions of Bo Tengnas, Caroline Agola, Graeme Backhurst and Christine Holding in editing, formatting and seeing the publication through the printers.

We are indebted to the following for checking the local names in their various languages with great care: Boran and Gabra: Hassan Gurancha Wario: Chonyi: Joshua Buni Mturi; Daasanach: Richard Rogono, Eric J. Ness, Haira Makoro, J. Yeragalech Komoi, Gosh Kuanyang; Embu: Esther Njiro; Giriama: Joshua Buni Mturi, Kikuyu: G.M. Mungai, S. Mathenge; Kisii: David Nyakundi; Luhya: P. Masinde, P. Namachanja, S. Simiyu, Pius Ndinyo, Dinah Khayota; Maasai: Joyce Nasieku, Charles Ole Saitabau; Luo: Alfred Odhiambo, the late Peter Olala, H. Omondi Odongo; Marakwet: J. Kasagam; Mbeere: Ephantus Mwangi Ndiritu: Meru: Faith Njeru, J. M. Ruthiiri, Rendille: John Rigano; Somali: Abdirahman I. Yusuf, Suleiman, Ibrahim Serar; Sanya: Komoro Badula, Baloni Badula, Bini Baloni, Safo Badula, Godana Badula; Taita: G. Mwachala, Teso: P. Ipulet; Turkana: Sammy Emekwi Nalukoowoi.

We are grateful to Abede Kifetew of Ethiopian Curio Centre in Nairobi for providing useful information on teff and coffee, Jacob Muhando for plotting species distribution on the maps, Pius Namachanja for preparing the agro-climatic zone map, and to Yasuyuki Morimoto, Geoffrey Kilili and Patrick Kobai for their input on the final layout. We are also grateful to Joshua Muasya who drew some last-minute illustrations.

Last but not least, our most sincere thanks go to Bettina Ng'weno, J. Nyokabi Oteba, Francis Sikuku, the late Joseph Musyoka Kavisa and Benedetta Nthenya who carefully entered the original work in WordPerfect and AskSam database, Jane M Macharia and Phyllis Karanja for carrying out corrections, Joyce Chege for entering data on late records and L. Sojah for painstakingly matching the local names in the index with those in the main text.

Map 1. Distribution of the major ethnic groups in Kenya