Knowledge for Development

Strategic repositioning of agrobiodiversity in the horticultural sector for sustainable development

Author: Professor Abukutsa Mary Oyiela Onyango

Date: 14/03/2012

Introduction:

(Keynote paper, finals of the ‘Women in Science’ competition)

Horticultural biodiversity which was once an integral part of African diets should have been part of the celebrations of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. However, with the introduction of exotic temperate crops, indigenous green vegetables lost popularity in Africa and are regarded mostly as ‘weeds’ or ‘poor man’s food’. With over 50% of the African population living below the poverty line, resulting in malnutrition and poor health, there is need for a paradigm shift in food production patterns to harness the nutrition and economic potential of indigenous vegetables and fruits. Agrobiodiversity has a crucial part to play in revolutionalising the horticultural sector for food security, nutrition, income and sustainable development in Africa. This article outlines strategies and recommendations that could be used to raise the status of agrobiodiversity in the continent.

Article taken from the 2011 CTA/FARA publication ‘Agricultural Innovations for Sustainable Development’ Volume 3, Issue 2.


 


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