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Socio-economic importance of urban markets supply chains of indigenous leafy vegetables in Cóte d'Ivoire

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With the rapid urbanization in developing countries, urban markets’ supply of nutritive food is a major concern. Indigenous Leafy Vegetables (ILVs) which have high nutritive values are often grown in urban and peri-urban areas in Côte d’Ivoire. Socio-economic surveys were conducted in 2006 to characterize the market supply chain of ILVs in the two biggest cities (Abidjan and Yamoussoukro) of the country. A rapid appraisal of the chain revealed three types of production sites: main, secondary, and marginal where indigenous leafy vegetables are cultivated as sole crops, associated crops, or spontaneous crops, respectively. It was also found that rural markets of Yamoussoukro constitute suppliers of ILVs to the city where the vegetables are commercialized on secondary urban markets (93%). In Abidjan, ILVs are commercialized in principal urban markets (66%). The study showed that the market supply chains are dominated by women (100% in Yamoussoukro and 97.5% in Abidjan). Principal actors in the chains are the producer-retailers, the wholesaler-retailers, and the retailers. These traders are young and are of different social backgrounds. The majority of traders are illiterate (76% in Yamoussoukro and 67% in Abidjan). In the two cities, the economic value of indigenous leafy vegetables sold in markets varies from US$ 0.4 to US$ 3.47/day. The most important revenues come from retailing jute mallow (Corchorus species) (US$ 3.47 in Abidjan) and sweetpotato leaves (Ipomoea batatas) (US$ 2.99 in Abidjan and US$ 1.71 in Yamoussoukro). Considering a maximum investment cost made by traders (US$ 1/day in Abidjan and US$ 0.5/day in Yamoussoukro), retailing any of these two indigenous vegetables yielded profit above the poverty line (US$ 1/day).

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