Malnutrition, comprising undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and overnutrition, is more widespread than hunger per se and affects most nations around the globe. The diversity and the quality of food produced and consumed are decisive factors when addressing the triple burden of malnutrition. In this context, fruit, vegetables, and nuts are increasingly moving into the focus of the nutrition community. Agricultural policies and investments in agriculture are predominantly focused on staple food production, neglecting the economic and nutritional potential of fruit and vegetables. While global vegetables are well represented in genebanks around the globe, this is much less the case for traditional vegetables. Collecting efforts in hotspots of vegetable diversity in Africa and Asia are required to conserve this germplasm before it is being replaced by modern varieties. Home gardens, community seedbanks, and variety introduction through vegetable seed kits are ways how genebanks can link with the farming community to strengthen the informal seed sector. This in turn may result in more diverse production systems and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. In the formal seed sector, vegetable breeders need access to a wide diversity of genetic resources, predominantly farmers’ varieties, landraces, and crop wild relatives. Genomics-assisted breeding is increasingly facilitating the introgression of favorable genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with complex inheritance patterns from wild species into cultigens. This will lead to wider use of crop wild relatives in the development of resilient cultivars.
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