Solar-Dried Traditional African Vegetables in Rural Tanzania: Awareness, Perceptions, and Factors Affecting Purchase Decisions

  • Radegunda F. Kessy
  • Justus OchiengEmail author
  • Victor Afari-Sefa
  • Takemore Chagomoka
  • Ngoni Nenguwo


This paper analyzes rural households’ awareness, perceptions, and factors influencing decisions to purchase solar-dried traditional African vegetables (TAVs). Solar-dried vegetables have higher nutritive value, good appearance, good taste, and better hygiene than open sun–dried vegetables. A simple random sampling was used to obtain 244 rural households in Dodoma and Singida regions of Tanzania. Descriptive statistics were used to measure awareness and perception of solar-dried TAVs while logit regression was employed to estimate factors influencing households’ decision to purchase solar-dried vegetables. The study findings indicate that about 36% of rural households are aware of solar-dried TAVs and know their nutritional and health benefits. Most households purchase and consume the open sun–dried types due to lack of knowledge of the benefits of solar dried vegetables. The decision to purchase solar-dried vegetables is influenced by sex of household head, income level, previous experience in consuming sun-dried vegetables, and knowledge of the nutritional and health benefits of the solar-dried vegetables in diets. Thus, awareness creation and promotion of solar drying of TAVs is suggested as an effective way to continuously access nutritious vegetables, particularly in regions faced with frequent droughts.

Key Words

Dried vegetables open sun drying solar drying households dehydrated produce postharvest losses Tanzania 



We thank the district authorities in the study area and all those who were involved in data collection, analysis, and report compilation. We also appreciate core donors to the World Vegetable Center: Republic of China (Taiwan), U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Germany, Thailand, Philippines, Korea, and Japan.

Funding Information

This study received financial support from the Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under the terms of Award No. AID-BFS-IO-12-00004.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The opinions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)ArushaTanzania
  2. 2.World Vegetable Center, Eastern and Southern AfricaArushaTanzania
  3. 3.World Vegetable Center, West and Central Africa–Coastal and Humid RegionsCotonouBenin
  4. 4.Seed Co-The African Seed Company AccraGhana
  5. 5.HarareZimbabwe

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