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A large majority of the world's 800 million food-insecure people live in rural areas and are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their incomes and food. Plants yielding non-seed carbohydrates are a major source of food energy for humans and animals in general and for low-income, food-insecure people in particular. Most of these plants, including a large share of the root and tuber crops, are grown at subsistence level in the tropics and they are consumed fresh. These crops are important for household and national food security, both in terms of providing a large share of the needed food energy and for reducing fluctuations in poor people's access to the required food. In spite of their importance, they have received relatively low priority in agricultural research, development, and policies. As shown in this volume, these crops have the ability to produce substantial amounts of useful energy per unit of land and per unit of time. This potential is not fully realized because of the failure to undertake the necessary research and to disseminate available research results to farmers and the processing industry.


Publication Details

  • Published: 1996
  • Publisher: Backhuys Publishers, Leiden