Skip to content

Supporting human nutrition in Africa through the integration of new and orphan crops into food systems

2018    Working paper     Download

Ian K Dawson, Prasad Hendre, Wayne Powell, Daniel Sila, Stepha McMullin, Tony Simons, Cesar RevoredoGiha, Damaris A Odeny, Andrew P Barnes, Lars Graudal, Christine A Watson, Steve Hoad, Fiona Burnett, Alice Muchugi, James M Roshetko, Iago L Hale, Allen Van Deynze, Sean Mayes, Roeland Kindt, Ravi Prabhu, Shifeng Cheng, Xun Xu, Luigi Guarino, Howard Shapiro, Ramni Jamnadass

Supporting human nutrition in Africa through the integration of new and orphan crops into food systems

Better integrating currently under-researched nutrient-rich new and orphan crops (NOC) into food systems could play an important role in addressing poor human diets. Understanding the multiple interventions required to support effective integration is, however, not straightforward. Current research to support this objective has generally been inadequate, in large part because insufficient attention has been given to draw together the multiple disciplines needed to explore and reach solutions. A broad interdisciplinary research programme is needed to provide answers to the following questions: how do dietary diversity and crop diversity interrelate at national and local food system levels? What drives crop integration or exclusion in food systems over time? How can new technologies be embraced in combination with best existing practices to genetically improve, better manage and more effectively process crops? And what are the best approaches to bring about behavioural change among farmers, food processors, consumers and other stakeholders to introduce new practices and foods?

Song B, Song Y, Fu Y, Kizito EB, Kamenya SN, Kabod PN, Liu H, Muthemba S, Kariba R, Njuguna J, Maina S, Stomeo F, Djikeng A, Hendre PS, Chen X, Chen W, Li X, Sun W, Wang S, Cheng S, Muchugi A, Jamnadass R, Shapiro HY, Van Deynze A, Yang H, Wang J, Xu X, Odeny DA, Liu X (2019) Draft genome sequence of Solanum aethiopicum provides insights into disease resistance, drought tolerance, and the evolution of the genome. GigaScience, 8: giz115