The research aims to identify how (indigenous) vegetable production in multi-storey cropping systems combined with relevant capacity building can help to increase and diversify the nutrition and livelihoods of poor male and female smallholders while contributing to biodiversity protection in biodiversity hotspots. Thus, we consider in the first place locally known, indigenous species without excluding other desirable vegetables. This research contributes to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To reach a sustainable diversified agriculture and balanced nutrition of men, women and children, who already practice some forms of multi-storey cropping in biodiversity hotspots, the research includes three components: (i) a vegetable and cropping system component; (ii) a socio-economic component, and (iii) a capacity building and knowledge transfer component. A strong emphasis is put on inter- and transdisciplinary as well as joint learning. The research approach is based on participatory action research, which means negotiating research ideas with stakeholders’ ideas and needs. Given the different roles of men and women in the agricultural sector, both groups may opt for different cropping systems due to their perceptions and priorities.