Underutilized Crops for Secure and Green Futures
Khoury, Colin .
Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies, agricultural research funding, and recommendations for diversifying food systems.
During the past five decades enormous change has occurred in global food supplies (Khoury, et al., 2014), and in the production systems which provide them. Globally, national diets have gained in calories, protein, and fat, with animal-derived foods and high calorie plant foods rising in importance. These diets have become increasingly composed of major cereal and oil crops, while regionally and locally important cereals, root, and oil crops have generally declined. As a consequence, diets around the world have become increasingly similar, and global food supplies as a whole have become more homogeneous. These changes have been driven by multifaceted effects of globalization, urbanization, and development, including agricultural research. While these ‘nutrition transition’ changes have contributed to enhancing food security in regard to increased availability of macronutrients worldwide, their effect on micronutrient sufficiency is mixed, and the over-consumption of macronutrients has enabled the global surge in diet-related non-communicable diseases. Such food supply change is also linked with greater homogeneity in our agricultural areas and their associated commodity trade systems, augmenting concerns in regard to genetic vulnerability to biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as food system vulnerability to climatic and political instability. I present some priorities for agricultural research with the aim of increasing food and nutrition security within the context of changing global food supplies. I propose priority actions for a) safeguarding the diversity of, and improving, global staple crops, with emphasis on nutritional quality; b) addressing the challenges associated with the increase in global oil crop production, c) promoting the conservation, development, and marketing of resilient and nutritious alternative crops, and d) addressing food security in a more holistic manner through the development of ecologically sensitive and nutritionally diverse food systems.
Khoury CK, Bjorkman AD, Dempewolf H, Ramírez-Villegas J, Guarino L, Jarvis A, Rieseberg LH and Struik PC (2014) Increasing homogeneity in global food supplies and the implications for food security. PNAS 111(11): 4001-4006. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1313490111.
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1 - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Km 17 Recta Cali Palmira, Palmira, Colombia
crop wild relatives
Plant genetic resources.
Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Location: Salon 17/18/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:45 AM
Candidate for Awards:None