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Opportunities for Underutilised Crops in Southern Africa’s Post–2015 Development Agenda

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  • Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi

    () (Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu–Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)

  • Patrick O’Reilly

    () (Crops For the Future (CFF), Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia)

  • Sue Walker

    () (Crops For the Future (CFF), Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia)

  • Simon Mwale

    () (Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), Gaborone 00357, Botswana)

Abstract

Underutilised crops represent an important component of Southern Africa’s agro–biodiversity that has potential to contribute to the region’s post–2015 development discourse. We reviewed the potential of underutilised crops with respect to how they can contribute to topical challenges, such as food and nutrition security, human health and well–being, climate change adaptation, the environment, and employment creation in poor rural communities. The fact that underutilised crops are the product of generations of landrace agriculture supports the idea that they are resilient and adapted to the needs of farmers in marginal agricultural environments. In addition, underutilised crops are also seen as offering economic advantages due to their uniqueness, suitability to environments in which they are grown and low input requirements. In certain cases, underutilised crops are associated with specific gender roles with women being seen as particularly significant in their production. Evidence also suggests that the inclusion of underutilised crops in cropping systems contributes to dietary diversity and improved nutrition. In the context of the post–2015 agenda, the potential of underutilised crops to generate income, address food security and their status as a “subset of biodiversity” links with a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing social, economic and environmental issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi & Patrick O’Reilly & Sue Walker & Simon Mwale, 2016. "Opportunities for Underutilised Crops in Southern Africa’s Post–2015 Development Agenda," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-16, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:302-:d:66512
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juana, James S. & Mabugu, Ramos E., 2005. "Assessment of smallholder's agriculture's contribution to the economy of Zimbabwe: A social accounting matrix multiplier analysis," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 0(Issue 3), pages 1-19, September.
    2. Govereh, Jones & Jayne, Thomas S., 1999. "Effects of Cash Crop Production on Food Crop Productivity in Zimbabwe: Synergies or Trade-offs?," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54670, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing neglected and underutilized crops to strengthen food security and alleviate poverty in india," MPRA Paper 37492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agro-biodiversity; food and nutrition security; resilience; sustainability; underutilised crops;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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