Sustainability 2014, 6(1), 319-335; doi:10.3390/su6010319
Article

Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems

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Received: 21 November 2013; in revised form: 24 December 2013 / Accepted: 30 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Agriculture is under pressure to produce greater quantities of food, feed and biofuel on limited land resources. Current over-reliance on a handful of major staple crops has inherent agronomic, ecological, nutritional and economic risks and is probably unsustainable in the long run. Wider use of today’s underutilized minor crops provides more options to build temporal and spatial heterogeneity into uniform cropping systems and will enhance resilience to both biotic and abiotic stress. Many traditional vegetables and underutilized legume crops are an essential source of vitamins, micronutrients and protein and, thus, a valuable component to attain nutritional security. Vegetables in general are of considerable commercial value and therefore an important source of household income. Significant research, breeding and development efforts are needed for a range of promising crops to convert existing local landraces into competitive varieties with wide adaptation and promising commercial potential. Access to genetic diversity of these selected crops is a pre-condition for success. Three underutilized minor crops—amaranth, drumstick tree, and mungbean—are highlighted and briefly described. All three crops are well-represented in AVRDC’s genebank with substantial inter- and intra-specific genetic diversity, and already have demonstrated their potential for wider adoption and commercial exploitation.
Keywords: underutilized traditional vegetables; food and nutritional security; income generation; sustainable production systems; climate change; crop diversification; amaranth; drumstick tree; mungbean
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ebert, A.W. Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems. Sustainability 2014, 6, 319-335.

AMA Style

Ebert AW. Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems. Sustainability. 2014; 6(1):319-335.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ebert, Andreas W. 2014. "Potential of Underutilized Traditional Vegetables and Legume Crops to Contribute to Food and Nutritional Security, Income and More Sustainable Production Systems." Sustainability 6, no. 1: 319-335.

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