From discovery to food system diversification with African neglected and underutilized species
Africa has a rich botanical heritage; however, only a few species dominate its food systems. Using a selected number of case studies, this chapter describes the steps from discovery of potential new crops, to successful food-system diversification with neglected and underutilized species (NUS). A lot of research gaps to document as well as characterize Africa’s rich edible biodiversity are yet to be addressed. At the same time, an increasing number of projects implemented on the continent have set examples on how to leverage selected NUS for better diet quality and livelihoods. An increasing number of communication and decision-support tools focusing on the nutritional benefits of NUS as well as suitability of NUS in local production systems have been developed to accompany these efforts. For long-term sustainability, domestication and cultivation or sustainable wild harvest protocols need to be developed as well. The evidence generated will contribute to building momentum for NUS to be part of Africa’s transformation towards healthier, more resilient and more inclusive food systems.
Termote, Céline; McMullin, Stepha; Prasad, Hendre