Did you know that of 250,000 identiﬁed plant species worldwide that only 30 species provide 95 percent of our global food energy needs? And that only three of these crops – wheat, maize and rice – provide half of the world’s food?
With severe weather extremes and other risks to global food security, many agricultural experts agree that global cropping systems should be as diversified as possible. As small-scale farms are particularly vulnerable to climatic and economic instability, underutilized crops may be key to their resilience.
Underutilized crops are those with “underexploited potential for contributing to food security, nutrition, health, income generation and environmental services.” The ECHO Underutilized Crops Workshop (September 10-14) will not only introduce participants to various less known crops but will also spotlight opportunities for their production and utilization.
The workshop will also include practical nutrition activities in which various underutilized crops on the ECHO farm will be harvested and prepared into meals.