|Researchers Asked To Explore The Nutritional Benefits Of Neglected Crops|
|Monday, 25 June 2012 08:32|
Researchers have been called on to take keen interest in researching into neglected and underutilised crops to educate people on the potential nutritional benefits and prospective ways of addressing food security.“The neglected and under-utilised crops according to research have unrealised potential to contribute to human welfare and improve food security as well as reduce hidden hunger, which is caused by micro nutrient deficiencies resulting from uniform diets that rely on a limited number of food sources”.
Dr Lawrence Aboagye, Director of the Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute (PGRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, made the call at the end of a five-day training workshop on ‘Research Design and Data Analysis with focus on Under-utilised Crops Research,’ in Accra.
The workshop was organised by PGRRI in collaboration with the European Union and ACP Science and Technology Programme for 22 science researchers from Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Mali and Senegal.
Dr Aboagye indicated that more than 7000 edible species are being used by mankind and currently, 50 per cent of the global requirement for proteins and calories depended only on maize, wheat and rice.
He said research has indicated that there were many crops that have nutritional needs for mankind but have not been utilised. In Ghana, some of the neglected and under-utilised crops include Bambara ground nuts, baobab and cocoyam.
Dr Nighisty Ghezae, Head of Programmes for International Foundation for Science urged governments and researchers to have a second look at neglected and under-utilised crops and give them the needed push to address nutritional needs of the people and address food security.