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Chaya to be Grown in South Sudan

November 11, 2011 by Holly

Steve Reech, Empowering Lives’ Director of South Sudan, recently visited the Ukweli Training Center in Ilula, Kenya. While touring the demonstration garden, he was introduced to a new vegetable now being grown in Kenya called chaya, a green leafy vegetable that grows from a tree-like stem. Referred to as “tree spinach”, it is believed that it originated in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Chaya grows well in extremely dry areas, offering twice the protein as spinach and ten times as much Vitamin C as an orange. Steve grew more enthusiastic as he continued to learn about this new vegetable, thinking of ways this plant could be used back in his country.  He said, “These chaya plants are so good, because in our area we have no vegetables. People eat fish and meat once a year or once every two years.  A typical meal is millet and water.  I am so glad to have these vegetables, because they can help make our bodies strong.  There are many malnourished children in my area, so the community will benefit greatly from this vegetable. We will start by planting the chaya on the school grounds and in the community.  When community members eat it, they will take some home to grow and feed their families, and their children will gain vital nutrients from it.” Steve left the Ukweli Center with a smile on his face and an arm full of chaya stems. Please pray for Steve as he begins this new journey of planting chaya in South Sudan.

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Categories: Sudan Sustainable Ag USA Office