Undiscovered potential of African grains
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CTA. 1997. Undiscovered potential of African grains. Spore 68. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48700
Lost Crops of Africa Vol. 1: Grains by National Research Council 1996 383pp price UKL20 95 ISBN 0 309 04990 3 National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N W Washington, DC 24018, USA
Of more than 100 African grasses whose seeds are, or have been eaten, a large number are only known to the peoples who use them. Many of these potentially very useful grains are still relatively unknown to the world of international science but, if scientists are to help solve the increasing nutritional problems of Africa, the secrets of these African crops must now be revealed. In 1989, questionnaires were sent out to over 1,000 scientists and organizations world-wide requesting nomination of 77 little-known African food plants. This was for inclusion in a study undertaken under the auspices of the National Research Council's Board of Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) and funded by USAID. The response was far greater than anticipated with over 200 species being recommended for inclusion in the study. Lost crops of Africa Vol. 1: Grains is the first in a series of books based on the study of 200 species of edible grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. The purpose of the book is to draw international attention to traditional African cereals, and in particular, to their potential for expanding and diversifying African and world-wide food supplies. The book is therefore seen as a tool for development rather than a textbook on African plants. However, as it is written for a wide audience, each chapter is organized in increasing levels of detail. Important grain species covered include African rice, finger and pearl millet, fonio and sorghum. Other species are discussed, but in less detail. Lost Crops of Africa Vol. 1: Grains by National Research Council 1996 383pp price UKL20 95 ISBN 0 309 04990 3 National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N W Washington, DC 24018, USA