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Sustainability: Special issue on neglected and underutilized plant species

Peruvian farmer taking a break from harvesting quinoa. Credit: Bioversity International/A.Camacho

Sustainability features three open-access papers co-authored by Bioversity International scientists in a special issue on how neglected and underutilized species can help improve income and nutrition.

The open-access journal Sustainability features three papers co-authored by Bioversity International scientists as part of a special issue on strengthening income opportunities and nutritional security through improved use and marketing of neglected and underutilized species.

Many communities around the world still depend on traditional food species for food and income that fall outside the narrow range of crops and commodities that dominate agricultural and food policies. Just three species — rice, wheat and maize — account for more than 50% of the world’s plant-derived calorie intake, yet it is estimated that around 7000 plant species are cultivated or harvested from the wild for food.

These traditional food species are often more resilient than their staple crop counterparts as they can be better adapted to grow in marginal areas, and they can be more nutritious. Increasingly, these species are finding themselves once more in the spotlight as options to adapt to climate change, improve nutrition and establish sustainable livelihoods for farm households and rural communities.

The special issue includes six open-access papers, three co-authored by Bioversity International scientists:

  • A Holistic Approach to Enhance the Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species: The Case of Andean Grains in Bolivia and Peru. Stefano Padulosi, Karen Amaya, Matthias Jäger, Elisabetta Gotor, Wilfredo Rojas and Roberto Valdivia
  • Conservation and Use of Genetic Resources of Underutilized Crops in the Americas—A Continental Analysis. Gea Galluzzi and Isabel López Noriega
  • Agricultural Biodiversity in Southern Brazil: Integrating Efforts for Conservation and Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species. Rosa Lía Barbieri, João Carlos Costa Gomes, Adriana Alercia and Stefano Padulosi.

Read the special issue: Underutilized Plant Species: Leveraging Food and Nutritional Security, and Income Generation

This story is part of the 2014 Annual Report