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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture, fisheries and forestry for improved food security and better nutrition

Samuel Agele
Samuel AgeleFederal University of Technology, Akure, NigeriaNigeria

Agriculture plays a key role in the provision of food and nutrition security outcomes. Large population of sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished. Productivity of agriculture should improve  to provide nutrient-rich food, enhance on-farm incomes and human and environmental health. Technological and social innovation may enhance the  sustainability of agriculture, food and nutrition outcomes and resilient environment along rural-urban sprawl. Potentials of resilient, neglected and underutilized genetic resources should be harnessed to attain food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa. The resilient (endemic), neglected and underutilized crop genetic resources  of the sub-Saharan Africa have diverse uses and genetic traits and constraints to productivity. The diverse dietary preparations and ability to meet up with or supplement the calory (energy) and protein requirements of many families are useful for ameliorating malnutrition, hidden hunger and resilience to environmental challenges among resource-poor and rural communities (vulnerable groups).

The endemic (resilient), neglected and underutilized crop genetic resources  of the sub-Saharan Africa have diverse uses and genetic potential for ameliorating malnutrition, hidden hunger and resilience to environmental challenges among resource-poor and rural communities (vulnerable groups).

The success of efforts focusing on enhancing resilience of agriculture, seed system, food and nutrition security to climate-induced stresses in sub-saharan africa: use and conservation of resilient seeds would be premised on examining the contribution of agricultural biodiversity to stable and sustainable agricultural production, system resilience and ecosystem services)

The conservation and use of adapted plant varieties would lead to increased productivity, on-farm incomes, and nutrient-rich food, as well as enhanced resilience to production shocks and reduced

Increasing neccessity to safeguard biodiversity for food security and climate change adaptation, and manage and sustainably deploying plant genetic diversity is one of the key options available to vulnerable farmers in their efforts to achieve food and nutrition security and make their farming systems resilient.

Other pathways would involve increased r4d for sustainable use and conservation of resilient crops for enhanced production, food and nutrition security, resistance to stresses, commercialization and end user perspectives

Conducting  more  ethnobotanical survey on plant genetic resources and diverse’ genetic traits,  determine their uses and phenotypic variability in physical and chemical properties  and identify constraints (production risks, conservation and utilization ) and use; develop and scale out best-fit conservation, production and utilization practices.

Examine variability  in agronomic and nutritive characteristics : nutritional value (Organoleptic and nutritional; caloric, mineral and protein profiles), examine array of menus  produced and usedstrategies to promote interest by younger generation for foods from resilient crops.

 

Conclusions

Resilient, neglected and underutilized genetic resources  of sub-Saharan Africa are characterized by diverse uses and genetic traits (variability in physical and chemical properties constraints (production risks, conservation and utilization). Large variability exists in their agronomic and nutritive characteristics (organoleptic and nutritional; caloric, mineral and protein profiles) characterization. Wide array of menus are prepared and used from various dietary preparations with potential to meet and supplement the caloric (energy) and protein requirements of many families.

There are strong and intertwined associations among people, endemic biodiversity and survival and hence resilient, neglected and underutilized leguminous and cereal genetic resources are utilized for food, traditional medicine and diversity of other uses.

Effort should be geared to harness their potentials to attain food and nutrition (alleviation of nutrient (micro-nutrient) deficiencies) security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Effort should be geared to harness their potentials to attain food and nutrition (alleviation of nutrient (micro-nutrient) deficiencies) security in sub-Saharan Africa. It is important to improve knowledge on ethnobotany and constraints to production systems, and use, and develop and scale out best-fit conservation, production and utilization practices for enhanced productivity, food and nutrition security and livelihoods, and reduce climatic risks.