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Orphan crops for sustainable food and nutrition security

Orphan crops for sustainable food and nutrition security

This book sets out the potential benefits and challenges associated with farming so-called orphan crops, also called “neglected and underutilised species”, such as certain types of millet and buckwheat.

Publisher’s summary

Orphan Crops for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security discusses the issues, challenges, needs and opportunities related to the promotion of orphan crops, known also as neglected and underutilised species (NUS).

The book is structured into six parts, covering the following themes: introduction to NUS, approaches, methods and tools for the use enhancement of NUS, integrated conservation and use of minor millets, nutritional and food security roles of minor millets, stakeholders and global champions, and, building an enabling environment. Presenting a number of case studies at the regional and country levels, the chapters cover different but highly interlinked aspects along the value chains, from acquisition and characterisation of genetic diversity, cultivation and harvesting to value addition, marketing, consumption and policy for mainstreaming. Cross-cutting issues like gender, capacity building and empowerment of vulnerable groups are also addressed by authors. Representatives from communities, research for development agencies and the private sector also share their reflections on the needs for the use enhancement of NUS from their own perspectives.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of food security, sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health and development, as well as practitioners and policymakers involved in building more resilient food and production systems.



Padulosi, S., King, E.I.O., Hunter, D. and Swaminathan, M.S. (eds.)(2021). Orphan Crops for Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security: Promoting Neglected and Underutilized Species. Routledge, Abingdon.

Read more here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food security?

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