Potential for Food Security
Rural populations in developing countries face food insecurity and malnutrition despite being often surrounded by extraordinary biodiversity, including neglected and underutilized species (NUS). (January 2015)
NUS are species to which little attention is paid or which are entirely ignored by agricultural researchers, plant breeders and policymakers. Typically, NUS are not traded as commodities. They are wild or semi-domesticated varieties of legumes, grains, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms, as well as non-timber forest species adapted to particular, often quite local, environments. Many of these varieties and species, along with a wealth of traditional knowledge about their cultivation and use, are being lost at an alarming rate. The term “orphan crops” also applies to this description. But also wild animal foods such as crabs, snails, insects or fish can contribute tremendously to SFNS.
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