Research has shown that in the past two decades plant breeders have been unable to increase yields of staple crops at the rate at which the world’s population is growing.
New technologies are needed to achieve this rate. Over the past decade several novel technologies have been developed. These are known as New Breeding Techniques and have the potential to hugely help in growing efforts.
“Indigenous fruits have long been collected from the wild for human consumption and other purposes. This concept of ‘one tree, many uses’ speaks to how indigenous fruit trees are valued for many things other than just their fruits.”
This is according to Dr Abiodun Olusola Omotayo from the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Food Security and Safety research niche area. Dr Omotayo and Prof Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu, also from the niche area, published a paper in the high-impact journal Food and Energy Security which looks at the benefits of Africa’s indigenous fruits and why they should be considered for food security.
The study explored the occurrence, distribution, nutritional components, phytochemicals, medicinal potential, as well as associated challenges and prospects of indigenous fruit trees which occur across different ecological zones in Africa.