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Local Solutions for Sustainable Food Systems: The Contribution of Orphan Crops and Wild Edible Species

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Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, HQ, via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00054 Rome, Italy
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Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project, Ministry of the Environment, CEP 70068-900 Brasília-DF, Brazil
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Horticultural Crops Research and Development Institute, B365, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka
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Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, P.O. Box 57811-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
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General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policies, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
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Plant Genetic Resources Department, Aegean Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 9 Menemen, 35661 Izmir, Turkey
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Institut d’Economie Rurale, BP 438 Bamako, Mali
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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 00153 Rome, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020231
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 1 February 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
Calls for a global food system transformation and finding more sustainable ways of producing healthier, safe and nutritious food for all have spurred production approaches such as sustainable intensification and biofortification with limited consideration of the copious amounts of orphan crops, traditional varieties and wild edible species readily available in many countries, mostly in and around smallholder farmers’ fields. This paper explores the potential role of locally available; affordable and climate-resilient orphan crops, traditional varieties and wild edible species to support local food system transformation. Evidence from Brazil, Kenya, Guatemala, India, Mali, Sri Lanka and Turkey is used to showcase a three-pronged approach that aims to: (i) increase evidence of the nutritional value and biocultural importance of these foods, (ii) better link research to policy to ensure these foods are considered in national food and nutrition security strategies and actions, and (iii) improve consumer awareness of the desirability of these alternative foods so that they may more easily be incorporated in diets, food systems and markets. In the seven countries, this approach has brought about positive changes around increasing community dietary diversity and increasing market opportunities for smallholder growers, as well as increased attention to biodiversity conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: orphan crops; neglected and underutilized species; wild edibles; biodiversity; food composition; nutrition; policy orphan crops; neglected and underutilized species; wild edibles; biodiversity; food composition; nutrition; policy
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Borelli, T.; Hunter, D.; Padulosi, S.; Amaya, N.; Meldrum, G.; de Oliveira Beltrame, D.M.; Samarasinghe, G.; Wasike, V.W.; Güner, B.; Tan, A.; Koreissi Dembélé, Y.; Lochetti, G.; Sidibé, A.; Tartanac, F. Local Solutions for Sustainable Food Systems: The Contribution of Orphan Crops and Wild Edible Species. Agronomy 2020, 10, 231.

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