Photo by Qurratul Ayin Sadia on Unsplash

Species/Cultivar Selection

Use of Indigenous Vegetables

With the need for a stable income and food security, most farmlands turn to planting cash crops and staple produce. This leaves the profitability and sustainability of indigenous or traditional vegetables unexplored. Indigenous vegetables (IVs) are crops that are grown locally and are well-adapted to site specific soil and climate conditions [1].

Climate Adaptation Effectiveness

Indigenous vegetables are much more resilient to the effects of climate change and are better suited to the existing soil conditions than exotic vegetables. It is suggested to conduct more studies on indigenous vegetables in different areas and the development of more climate resilient varieties [1][2].

Climate Hazards

  • Drought
  • Extreme Heat
  • Rainfall Variability


Adaptation Sectors

  • Agriculture

CCET Instuments

  • Action Delivery

Target Group based on Vulnerability

Basic Sectors:
  • Children
  • Farmers and Landless Rural Workers
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Senior Citizens
  • Women
  • Youth and Students


Economic / Financial Effectiveness

Indigenous vegetables are often grown with minimal external input and are grown in shorter cycles. This supposedly results in higher economic benefits due to lower production cost per unit. However, there is difficulty in marketing the product due to lack of accessibility to the market, transport issues, and postharvest handling [1][2].

Technical Feasibility

There is low priority given to indigenous vegetable research due to its lack of accessibility to the market and high perishability. In Cameroon, Central Africa, farmers have less knowledge on indigenous vegetable management which becomes difficult in building the climate resilience of the crops. It is suggested to develop pest infestation strategies suited for the crops, the locality, and climate as well as to explore mixed indigenous vegetable systems [1].

Social Acceptability

The health sector recognized that the majority of the world’s population have nutrient deficient diets, and should be addressed by diversifying nutrient sources and consuming nutrient dense vegetables and fruits. This enhanced awareness increased the demand for indigenous vegetables for its nutritional value which creates a market for smallholder farmers [1].

Environmental Impact

Indigenous vegetables require less external input which lessens the use of chemical fertilizers preserving the soil quality and preventing soil contamination [1].

Mitigation co-benefit

There is no direct mitigation co-benefit for this solution.


indigenous vegetables, diversification, resilient, increased heterogeneity, indigenous/ traditional varieties; marginal lands


[1] Keatinge, J.D.H., Wang, J.-F., Dinssa, F.F., Ebert, A.W., Hughes, J.DA., Stoilova, T., Nenguwo, N., Dhillon, N.P.S., Easdown, W.J., Mavlyanova, R., Tenkouano, A., Afari-Sefa, V., Yang, R.-Y., Srinivasan, R., Holmer, R.J., Luther, G., Ho, F.-I., Shahabuddin, A., Schreinemachers, P., Iramu, E., Tikai, P., Dakuidreketi-Hickes, A. and Ravishankar, M. (2015). Indigenous vegetables worldwide: their importance and future development. Acta Hortic. 1102, 1-20.
[2] Tanimonure, V.A. (2021). Underutilized Indigenous Vegetables’ (UIVs) Business in Southwestern Nigeria: Climate Adaptation Strategies. In: Oguge, N., Ayal, D., Adeleke, L., da Silva, I. (eds) African Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Springer, Cham.