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Tainan, Taiwan

Akinyemi S.O.S.,National Horticultural Research Institute | Aiyelaagbe I.O.O.,Abeokuta Federal University of Agriculture | Akyeampong E.,World Vegetable Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

Plantain (Musa spp.) occupies a strategic position for rapid food production in Nigeria. It is ranked third among starchy staples. The country's output doubled in the last 20 years. Production, which is concentrated in the Southern part of the country, still remains largely in the hands of small scale farmers who, over the years, have ingeniously integrated it into various cropping systems. Production is male dominated, while women essentially handle marketing. The inadequate knowledge of improved cultural practices of the crop by the farmers, an inefficient system of extension services and skewness of specialization in areas of research are part of the reasons why yield potential of plantain is still low in the country. Contributions of plantain to the income of rural households in major producing areas in Nigeria continue to increase tremendously in the last few years. Unlike some other starchy staples whose demand tend to fall with rising income, demand for plantain increases with increasing income. With the potential for industrial processing of plantain, which has recently been adopted, and the increased interest in production by small and large scale farms in the country, it is believed that Nigeria will continue to be one of the world's largest producers of plantain. Source

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, vegetable production in Central Asia and the Caucasus went into serious decline. Established systems for agricultural research ceased to function and this hampered the region's capacity to grow vegetables for local consumption, processing, and export. Over the past 18 years, the eight newly independent nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus have passed new laws and regulations for agricultural development as part of the gradual transition to market-oriented agriculture. In Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan state land was distributed among farmers. Farmers' associations have been established along with joint stock corporations for vegetable production, procurement, and processing. However, agriculture still faces constraints from poor infrastructure, a shortage of tractors and other equipment, and a lack of fertilizer and high quality seed. Agricultural research has languished in the transition to market-based economies, and few new technologies for growing and processing vegetables have been implemented. Although the new nations have established grant programs for agricultural research, a limited base of funds hinders the ongoing development of agriculture in the region. To foster regional and international collaboration, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center - established the Network for Vegetable Systems Research & Development for Central Asia and the Caucasus in 2006. The aforementioned eight countries participate in the network to develop vegetable production systems oriented toward market and trade, and conduct research aligned with the strategic principles of each National Agricultural Research System (NARS). Through collaboration with AVRDC, new varieties of vegetable crops have been tested in state trials and released in the region. These new varieties play an important role in farm diversification, crop rotation, improving the nutritional quality of diets, and increasing farmers' incomes. Source

Ebert A.W.,World Vegetable Center
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

Diverse and readily accessible genetic resources are vital to crop improvement programs oriented toward high and stable yields, resistance against biotic and abiotic stress, and specific consumer preferences. To contribute to food and nutritional security for an increasing global population, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center conserves more than 56,000 germplasm accessions in its genebank, and is the world's most important public-domain source for vegetable crops. The AVRDC Vegetable Genetic Resources Information System provides direct web-based access to information pertaining to the accessions in the genebank. The Center's Genetic Resources and Seed Unit and Global Technology Dissemination Group distributed 8789 accessions of vegetable germplasm and improved breeding lines in 2008. Seed was distributed to 67 countries worldwide, with a total of 5897 accessions/breeding lines sent out. Germplasm is shared with national agricultural research and extension systems, universities, and the private sector for crop improvement programs and related research. In-house use of germplasm and breeding lines was also substantial in 2008, amounting to 1085 genebank accessions screened and evaluated by the Center's headquarters, and 1807 accessions and/or breeding lines used by the Center's regional offices. A total of 7350 genebank accessions were sent to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and more than 5000 accessions to the genebank of the National Agrobiodiversity Center in the Republic of Korea for long-term safety duplication. The Center's plant pathologists and breeders use genebank material extensively to identify new sources of specific genes responsible for resistance against biotic and abiotic stress, desired horticultural traits, or health-promoting factors in wild and cultivated germplasm. These vegetable improvement efforts have led to the development and release of numerous vegetable lines resistant to specific pests and diseases, heat-tolerant, and rich in health-promoting compounds. Source

Diversifying crop production and diets combats malnutrition among the poor in developing countries, generates income, and sustains ecosystems under threat due to human intervention. Crop and diet diversification could be achieved by making better use of resilient indigenous vegetables that easily adapt to degraded, droughtprone, flooded, or saline land - areas which are increasing due to climate change. Despite the recognized importance of indigenous vegetables in alleviating malnutrition and poverty, many remain underutilized due to a lack of information on their use, health benefits, field performance, and input requirements. A lack of cultivars or lines for widespread distribution and uncertainty on how these plants can fit into common production systems further curtail their use. AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center currently conducts project activities in collaboration with national partners in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan to promote the conservation and use of indigenous vegetables. Project activities focus on the rescue, improved conservation, and seed increase of promising lines, cultivar trials and participatory evaluation of selected accessions, and training personnel in germplasm management. Priority crops differ from country to country. Ipomoea aquatica (kangkong, water spinach) and Moringa oleifera (Moringa) are described. Source

Keding G.,Justus Liebig University | Keding G.,World Vegetable Center | Keding G.,University of Gottingen
World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics | Year: 2016

All three types of malnutrition - underweight, overweight and micronutrient deficiency - are experienced in countries undergoing a nutrition transition, and they can occur in parallel in one community or even one household. To combat this triple burden of malnutrition, a combination of different strategies will be necessary, including a focus on food-based strategies that promote the consumption of a wide range of foods across nutritionally distinct food groups. In addition to a literature review, data from our own nutrition studies in both Tanzania and Kenya are presented in this paper. The literature review revealed an average of 10% of children in urban areas of Kenya and Tanzania with overweight and obesity, which is an alarming trend, and it is suggested that interventions need to start not only at school but also with adolescent girls and pregnant women to target the '1,000-day window'. From own study data, dietary patterns were generated that included a 'purchase' pattern dominated by bought and processed foods, indicating a possible nutrition transition even in the rural areas of both countries. Vegetable and especially fruit consumption was low in both countries. In addition, in Kenya, study participants exceeded the suggested maximum level of sugar consumption per day, which will most likely contribute to increasing levels in overweight and obesity prevalence and other noncommunicable diseases in general. As sugar was mainly consumed in combination with black tea, next to eating habits, changing drinking habits is also an important part of the nutrition transition and needs to receive more attention. A 'healthy eating at school and at home strategy' is suggested, which needs the support of both schools and parents/caregivers. In general, to take countermeasures against the negative trends of nutrition transition, joint efforts from all players in the field - not only those in nutrition, health and medicine, but also those in education and agriculture - will be essential. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

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