Mary Oyiela Abukutsa-Onyango

Mary Oyiela Abukutsa-Onyango
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | JKUAT · Department of Horticulture

Ph.D, MSc (Agronomy) BSc (Agric)

About

76
Publications
75,259
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885
Citations
Citations since 2017
22 Research Items
611 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Introduction
Mary Abukutsa is a dynamic result oriented, strategic thinker and transformational leader with a personal mission statement that guides her in touching lives through provision of excellent service with humility and integrity. She is an internationally recognized scholar, scientist, educator, mentor, leader and a prolific research. She is globally recognized for her pioneering research work on African indigenous vegetables. She is currently a full professor of Horticulture at JKUAT, Kenya.
Additional affiliations
June 1992 - November 2007
Maseno University
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • overseeing research activities, academic programs and researching on African indigenous vegetables and agro-biodiversity teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students
June 1991 - present
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Position
  • AFRICAN INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Description
  • The research program that was initiated in 1991 at JKUAT and 1996 at Maseno university seeks to strategically reposition African indigenous vegetables and fruits in the Horticulture sector for nutrition, health and economic security
Education
September 1992 - December 1995
University of London
Field of study
  • Horticulture

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
African leafy vegetables such as amaranth have been utilized since time immemorial both as food and as medicine. These vegetables grew naturally in most rural environments, but currently most of them are cultivated both for home consumption and for sale. The aim of this study was to identify the most preferred amaranth species and cooking and utili...
Article
Full-text available
Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), is an underutilized crop increasing in popularity as a grain and as a leafy vegetable. It is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins, and adapts well to a range of production systems. Currently, the lack of improved varieties limits the use of the crop. Breeding improved varieties requires access to large collections of a...
Book
Full-text available
This handbook is the result of five years of research on African Indigenous Vegetables (AIV) production and marketing to support small-scale farmers improve their farming practices. Research on five AIVs (African Nightshade, Amaranth, Cowpea, Ethiopian Kale, and Spiderplant) was conducted to improve their production, marketing, and consumption. Th...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article reveals progress and gaps in spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra Syn. Cleome gynandra) research to date. It synthesises the current knowledge in systematics and botany, geographical distribution, nutrient content, and health values as well as the agronomic practices related to the species. This article further presents the germplasm av...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed at evaluating the nutrient retention of amaranth vegetable dishes prepared using selected Kenyan traditional recipes, and to enhance the iron bioavailability of amaranth dishes using food preparation methods. Nutrient retentions of amaranth prepared by three common food methods were analyzed. In-vitro iron bioavailability of amaran...
Article
Full-text available
Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) is an important leafy vegetable and grain crop which is a good source of nutrients and bioactive compounds, widely consumed in several parts of the world. However, varieties of different Amaranthus species show great phenotypic variation and may also have different nutritional attributes. This study aimed to phenotype veg...
Article
Cowpea is a nutritious legume consumed as vegetable; grain stew or fed to animals as forage. Being a rich protein source, it’s used as an alternative to animal protein for resource-poor farmers. Due to a wide range of uses, morphological diversity and individual crop preferences, farmers face a challenge in variety selection. Their choice seed is s...
Article
Full-text available
The green peach aphid [Myzus persicae (Sulzer)] is an important pest of amaranth grown for leaf consumption (i.e., leafy amaranth) in the tropics. Aphids reduce the amount of fresh leaf yield of amaranth and the value of leafy amaranth as aphid-infested leaves are not marketable. Our objective was to evaluate Amaranthus species selected by a breedi...
Article
Local knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) among local growers are required to design effective vegetable productivity-enhancing interventions. However, limited studies have been conducted in Kenya to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices on production performance of AIVs. A survey was co...
Article
Full-text available
Cleome gynandra L. origin, taxonomy and morphology: A review Oshingi Shilla1, Fekadu Fufa Dinssa1, Emmanuel Otunga Omondi, Traud Winkelmann and Mary Oyiela Abukutsa-Onyango 9 Cleome gynandra L. is one of the traditional leafy vegetables in Africa and Asia providing essential minerals and vitamins to the diet and income of resource poor communitie...
Article
Full-text available
The production of African nightshade is below its potential due to a lack of superior varieties. The development of varieties through breeding programmes has been initiated in order to supply farmers with quality seeds. However, systematic studies on the agronomic performance of African nightshade germplasm have been started only recently, and publ...
Article
Full-text available
Amaranth (Amaranthus L.) species are grown for their grain or leaves and contribute to farmers’ livelihoods and nutritional food security. Leafy amaranth (LA) is consumed widely as a vegetable in Kenya. An assessment of current farmers’ knowledge of pest management practices provides information about future educational needs. Six-hundred LA farmer...
Article
Cleome gynandra (L.) Briq., one of its common names ‘spider plant’, is a traditional leafy vegetable in Africa. It is valued for its nutritional and medicinal properties such as its ability to reduce risks of degenerative diseases like cardiovascular diseases, some cancer types, inflammation and age-related disorders. Although the consumption of th...
Article
Full-text available
Nightshade (Solanum species) is a priority African indigenous vegetable of great importance that plays a significant role in nutrition, food security and income generation. Much research attention on nightshade has focused on leaf yields, nutritional value, agronomic practices and post-harvest handling. However, African nightshade production is mai...
Article
African nightshade is an indigenous leafy vegetable in Eastern and Western Africa that is valued for its high nutrient content and potential to generate income. Efforts to improve this crop have been hampered by limited information available on intra- and interspecific genetic diversity. Here, we present data on the development and application of p...
Article
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) is widely grown by subsistence farmers in West and East Africa where its grain and leaves are sources of highly valuable food, due to their high contents of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Therefore, cowpea could play a significant role in mitigating malnutrition such as micronutrient deficiencies. The objecti...
Article
African nightshades are becoming more important as leafy vegetables in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously considered as food for the poor, their cultivation is now being promoted, and some cultivars are commercialised; however, most farmers use self-produced seeds, leading to low and varying yields. Improvement through conventional breeding depends on...
Article
Spider plant is among the important indigenous African leafy vegetables having the potential to contribute to food and nutritional security in sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective of this study was to quantify the mineral content, to identify and quantify glucosinolates and flavonoids in spider plant and further to characterise spider plant entri...
Article
Cleome gynandra (L.) Briq. is an African leafy vegetable with a potential to improve food security and micronutrient deficiencies. Cytological traits, breeding biology and genetic diversity of 30 selected entries of C. gynandra from six African countries were investigated. The entries consisted of advanced lines, gene bank accessions and farmers’ c...
Article
Full-text available
A great diversity of indigenous fruit and vegetable species has been neglected in favor of the production of exotic crops. These neglected species have now increased in importance, due to the recognition of their potential contribution in preventing malnutrition, obesity and diet-related disorders and hidden hunger. Many indigenous food crops const...
Article
Full-text available
African leafy vegetables are becoming important crops in tackling nutrition and food security in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, since they provide important micronutrients and vitamins, and help resource-poor farm families bridge lean periods of food shortage. Genetic diversity studies are essential for crop improvement programmes as well as ger...
Research
Full-text available
spider plant production leaflet
Research
Full-text available
vegetable amaranth production leaflet
Research
Full-text available
African nightshade promotion leaflet
Research
Full-text available
promote leaflet of African indigenous vegetables
Article
Full-text available
About 40.7% pesticides used to control the pests on crops worldwide are toxic. Over 60% workers in Kenya are exposed to pesticides due to lack of knowledge, negative attitude and poor practice. Ministry of Agriculture reported over 70% unspecified pesticides used on farms in Mavoko Division were toxic and farm workers who applied them complained of...
Article
Full-text available
Crotalaria brevidens Benth. and Crotalaria ochroleuca G. Don. are two promising indigenous vegetables grown and consumed in Kenya. Yields of 2 to 3 ton ha-1 have been reported without application of fertilizers compared with a potential of 10-12 tons ha-1. Phosphorus is one of the most limiting nutrients in many tropical soils causing low productio...
Article
Full-text available
Amaranth is one of the most commonly produced and consumed indigenous vegetables on the African continent. In Tanzania amaranth constitutes about 5.3% of total vegetable hectarage planted annually. Most cultivated varieties of amaranth are landraces with relatively poor leaf and grain yield. This study was conducted to identify genotypes with poten...
Chapter
The world derives 95% of its food energy from 30 crops species, whilst 7000 species are underutilized, neglected and held in low esteem. Highly nutritious African indigenous vegetables and fruits are threatened with extinction. One of the Millennium Development Goals calls for the world to reduce by half the number of people suffering from hunger a...
Article
Full-text available
Amaranth ( Amaranthus spp . ) vegetable is widely consumed in Kenya and contributes to the alleviation of food insecurity. It is reported to have bioactive components such as antioxidants that help in protecting the body from long-term degenerative diseases. However, amaranth vegetable has also been shown to contain some anti-nutrients such as tann...
Article
Full-text available
Vol. 8(1), pp. 66-74, January 2014 DOI: 10.5897/AJEST2013. 1573 ISSN 1996-0786 © 2014 Academic Journals http://www.academicjournals.org/AJEST African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Heavy metal content of selected African leafy vegetables planted in urban and peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya Mutune, A. N.*, Makobe, M. A. and Abukutsa...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetables consumed in urban sites can be contaminated with harmful metal levels absorbed from planting sources because metals are commonly present in soil. The present study was carried out to evaluate Pb, Cu and Zn concentration in ten commonest vegetables in Nairobi markets. Vegetables were collected from 15 markets in urban and peri-urban Nairo...
Chapter
Full-text available
African nightshades (Solanum section Solanum) are an important source of daily nutrients and income for small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and are a delicacy for urban inhabitants. The section is one of the most ubiquitous, largest and most diverse species groups of the genus Solanum, with more than 30 reported species. Complete profiling of...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intra-row spacing on growth of French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Maseno Division, Kenya. The study was carried out at Maseno University Horticultural farm. Intra-row spacing of 10,15,20 and 30 cm were evaluated in a randomised complete block design. Growth parameters of plant height, le...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intra-row spacing on growth of French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in Maseno Division, Kenya. The study was carried out at Maseno University Horticultural Farm. Intra-row spacing of 10, 15, 20 and 30 cm were evaluated in a randomized complete block design. Growth parameters of plant height,...
Chapter
Full-text available
The year 2010 was declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations to celebrate the diversity of plants and animals. Horticultural biodiversity that used to form an integral part of African diets should have been part of this celebration. However, with the introduction of exotic temperate crops, indigenous green vegetables lost...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book provides a collection of conceptual and methodological chapters on the socio-economic aspects of vegetable production-to-marketing systems in Africa. The diverse topics covered in this book include the conceptual challenges in economic research on vegetable production systems, the implications of good agricultural practice standards, the...
Article
Full-text available
The wild-type Solanumu villosum is an important leafy vegetable in Kenya, which however is low-yielding mainly due to the early flowering and prolific fruiting. Two new genotypes of S. villosum, T-5 and octoploid with different flowering and fruiting characteristics from the wild-type have been developed. Field experiments were conducted to evaluat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
burdening the national and household resources. Changes in dietary patterns has contributed to the higher prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. Indigenous foods especially plant foods are being replaced by high-fat, energy-dense diets with increased intake of animal foods and yet plant based foods especially African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs)...
Chapter
Full-text available
Increasing prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in developing countries is burdening the national and household resources. Changes in dietary patterns has contributed to the higher prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. Indigenous foods especially plant foods are being replaced by high-fat, energy-dense diets with increased intake of animal fo...
Book
Full-text available
The year, 2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations to celebrate diversity of plants and animals. Horticultural biodiversity including African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) that used to form an integral part of Kenyan diets should be part of this celebration. However, with the introduction of exotic temperat...
Article
Full-text available
Intercropping offers advantages if well planned including improved soil fertility and yields. Bambara groundnuts have been shown to yield in low fertility soils and have been described as a complete food. NERICA rice has been reported to offer higher yields and shorter growing seasons. Cropping systems that combine both these crops in production sy...
Article
Full-text available
Nutritional iron deficiency is the common cause of anaemia in developing world. However, Africa is endowed with African indigenous vegetables (AIVs) rich in micronutrients. Surveys within East Africa relate low AIV consumption to limited information on recipe preparation. The aim of this research is to determine iron content of various formulated i...
Article
Full-text available
African indigenous vegetables have many nutritional and health benefits that have not been well researched and fully exploited. The objective of this study was to determine iron and protein contents of seven priority African indigenous vegetables found in Eastern Africa. The vegetables were planted at two sites, Maseno University, Maseno in western...
Article
Full-text available
Unacceptably high rates of micronutrient deficiencies persist mostly among resource-poor communities who rely on subsistence farming. In these communities, consumption of vegetables and fruits is the most sustainable way of reducing micronutrient deficiencies. Apart from enhancing dietary diversity, indigenous vegetables and fruits are often easier...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural biodiversity encompasses the variety and variability of plants and animals that are necessary for food production and accessibility. Loss of agricultural biodiversity is taking place at a very high rate in Kenya. Many indigenous species that are not only nutritious, but also adapted to harsh conditions are now associated with poverty o...
Article
Full-text available
Intercropping offers advantages if well planned including improved soil fertility and yields. Bambara groundnuts have been shown to yield in low fertility soils and have been described as a complete food. Nerica rice has been reported to offer higher yields and shorter growing seasons. Cropping systems that combine both these crops in production sy...
Article
Full-text available
This cross-sectional survey was to determine dietary diversity, nutrient intake, nutrition status and prevalence of childhood illnesses among pre-school children in Matungu division, Western Kenya. A total of 144 households were arrived at using multistage sampling, structured questionnaires with food frequency tables and 24-hour recalls were admin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over 60% of the rural population of Kenya lives below the poverty line, resulting in malnutrition, poor health and inadequate basic necessities. Malnutrition is manifested in various forms in children, such as their being underweight or stunted, or suffering from iron-deficiency anaemia. The most serious malnutrition problems are a result of inadeq...
Chapter
Full-text available
As with all crops, indigenous or exotic, in Africa there are many different production systems. The main differentiating attributes include location, size, proximity to homestead, commercial or subsistence, nature and quantity of inputs, and whether the crops are planted in mixed or pure stands (see Chapter 1). Different combinations of these attri...
Article
Nightshade (Solanum L. section e.g. S. scabrum, S. tarderomotum, S. villosum, S. americanum and S. grossidentatum) are widely consumed in East and West Africa due to their potential nutritional and economic benefits but little is known about their production practices. This study was carried out at AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center in Arusha, Tanzan...
Article
Nightshade species (Solanum L. section Solanum, e.g., S. scabrum, S. tarderomotum, S. villosum, S. americanum and S. grossidentatum) are widely cultivated in East and West Africa due to their potential nutritional and economic benefits. Constraints associated with the production of nightshade species include little information on their production p...
Chapter
Full-text available
The purpose of traditional food processing is preservation to maintain a supply of wholesome, nutritious food during the year and preservation for the time of scarcity. While food processing still has the main objective of providing a safe nutritious diet in order to maintain health, other aspects, particularly the generation of wealth for the prod...
Article
Full-text available
African nightshade (Solanum scabrum) is an important indigenous vegetable in many African countries, yet factors affecting leaf yields have not been fully investigated. A market survey conducted in Kakamega Municipal market in Kenya revealed that broad-leafed African nightshade was among the preferred African vegetables in the region. Besides being...
Article
Full-text available
Communities in western Kenya have utilized several species of African Leafy Vegetables for food and valued them for their taste, nutritional qualities and medicinal properties. With increasing demand for these vegetables, there is a dire need for a formal reliable source of quality seed and need to study and develop seed support systems in communit...
Article
Full-text available
High poverty levels in western Kenya that are manifested in malnutrition and poor health prevail yet the region is endowed with high agricultural biodiversity like African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs). The vegetables have high micronutrient content, medicinal properties, several agronomic advantages and economic value yet their potential in alleviating...
Article
Full-text available
Slenderleaf is one of African Leafy Vegetables that has been grown and consumed in Kenya for a long time, its young leaves and shoots are used as a cooked vegetable. Slenderleaf acts as an agent to promote suicidal germination of Striga, a parasitic plant that is a major problem weed for maize and millet growers. One of the major constraints in its...
Article
Full-text available
African nightshades play an important role in meeting the nutritional needs of rural households, and are reported as being particularly rich in protein, vitamin A, iron and calcium. Nightshades are among three top priority African indigenous vegetables identified for improvement and promotion through research. A major constraint facing this objecti...
Article
Full-text available
Slenderleaf is one of African Leafy Vegetables that has been grown and consumed in Kenya for a long time, its young leaves and shoots are used as a cooked vegetable. Slenderleaf acts as an agent to promote suicidal germination of Striga, a parasitic plant that is a major problem weed for maize and millet growers. One of the major constraints in its...
Article
Full-text available
African leafy vegetables (ALVs) have been grown for centuries on the African continent. Although neglected they have many advantages that include, nutritional and medicinal value, agronomic advantages and potential as income generation Despite these advantages they have been neglected and are threatened by extinction. This calls for in-situ and ex-...