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Growing high priority fruits and nuts in Kenya: uses and management

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Growing fruits and nuts offers tremendous opportunities for enhancing the incomes of small-scale farming families in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, and for improving the nutrition of the poor who currently suffer from deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients as a consequence of low consumption of these foods. Many fruits are, for example, important sources of vitami ns A and C that are lacking in the diets of many Africans. Low intake of vitamin A – around 50 million African children are at risk of deficiency – is considered to be Africa’s third greatest public health problem after HIV/AIDS and malaria. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is essential for protecting cells and keeping the body healthy and also absorbing iron from food. Vitamin C is an important mineral that is present in significant quantities in many fruits. Action on improving fruit and nut availability and quality, when co-ordinated, is likely to have a major positive impact on the health of African consumers and increase income generation

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