(Natural News) Searching for new sources of food for humans and feed for animals, a Tanzanian scientific review covered the Vigna genus of legumes. They reported that the wild members of the genus could serve as potential sources of nutrition, thereby improving food security across the world.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. The findings were published in the journal Global Food Security.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations stated that half of the plant-based calories consumed by humans comes from four species. This reliance on a few crops is responsible for low agricultural biodiversity and contributes to the food insecurity crisis.
- Vigna is a large genus of legumes. While it has more than 100 species, only ten are domesticated.
- These domesticated legumes include the adzuki bean, the black gram, the cowpea and its black-eyed pea variant, and the mung bean. They are important food crops in their own right, but they also draw most of the attention away from the other Vigna species.
- More than 90 wild species of Vigna legumes offer potential as food crops. They could either be domesticated to provide new varieties of food or serve in breeding programs to improve the genes of their more popular relatives.
- However, there is little knowledge on the potential of the wild Vigna species to serve as supplementary or replacement crops for several improved varieties that have run into problems. Awareness of their potential as food crops can only be increased through research.
The researchers urge that wild Vigna legumes should be investigated and made an important part of future food strategies.
You can read the full study at this link.
If you want to know how bad the food security issues are, visit FoodCollapse.com.
Harouna DV, Venkataramana PB, Ndakidemi PA, Matemu AO. UNDER-EXPLOITED WILD VIGNA SPECIES POTENTIALS IN HUMAN AND ANIMAL NUTRITION: A REVIEW. Global Food Security. 19 June 2018;18:1–11. DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2018.06.002.