Study: African fruit is untapped resource

Jan 31, 2008

A report suggests native African fruits are an untapped resource that could help combat malnutrition and boost rural development on the African continent.

The U.S. National Research Council said African science institutes, policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and individuals could use modern horticultural knowledge and scientific research to bring "lost crops" such as baobab, marula, and butterfruit to their full potential.

The report said current tropical fruit production in Africa is dominated by species introduced from Asia and the Americas, such as bananas, pineapples, and papayas. Those and other crops arrived on the African continent centuries ago. Already improved through horticultural selection and breeding, they increasingly displaced the traditional species that had fed Africans for thousands of years.

But, the report said, with renewed scientific and institutional support, Africa's native fruits could make a much greater contribution to nutrition and economic development.

The researchers said fruit trees and shrubs also offer long-term benefits by improving the stability of the environment.

The report is the third and final volume in a series that also explored the benefits of Africa's indigenous vegetable and grain crops.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists debunk climate change myths

Feb 25, 2014

Wits University scientists have debunked two big myths around climate change by proving firstly, that despite predictions, tropical storms are not increasing in number. However, they are shifting, and South ...

Sucker-footed fossils broaden the bat map

Feb 04, 2014

Today, Madagascar sucker-footed bats live nowhere outside their island home, but new research shows that hasn't always been the case. The discovery of two extinct relatives in northern Egypt suggests the ...

Waterfowl poisoning halved by lead shot prohibition

Jan 16, 2014

Lead shot was forbidden in 2001 in Spanish wetlands on the Ramsar List of these areas of international importance. Ten years later, this prohibition —and the consequent use of steel shot by hunters— has ...

Recommended for you

Research band at Karolinska tuck Dylan gems into papers

13 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A 17-year old bet among scientists at the Karolinska Institute has been a wager that whoever wrote the most articles with Dylan quotes before they retired would get a free lunch. Results included ...

A simulation game to help people prep for court

Sep 25, 2014

Preparing for court and appearing before a judge can be a daunting experience, particularly for people who are representing themselves because they can't afford a lawyer or simply don't know all the ropes ...

When finding 'nothing' means something

Sep 25, 2014

Scientists usually communicate their latest findings by publishing results as scientific papers in journals that are almost always accessible online (albeit often at a price), ensuring fast sharing of latest ...

User comments : 0