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Worldwide, more than 3,000 plant species have been used as food, only 300 of which are now widely grown, and only 12 of which furnish nearly 90 percent of the world's food. These 12 include the grains: rice, wheat, maize (corn), sorghums, millets, rye, and barley, and potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassavas or maniocs, bananas, and coconuts (Thurston 1969).1 The grains are wind-pollinated or self-pollinated, coconuts are partially wind-pollinated and partially insect pollinated, and the others are propagated asexually or develop parthenocarpically. However, more than two-thirds of the world's population is in Southeast Asia where the staple diet is rice. Superficially, it appears that insect-pollination has little effect on the world's food supply - possibly no more than 1 percent.

Publication Details

  • Published: 1976
  • Publisher: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
  • Dewey Decimal: 582.016
  • ECHO Library: 582.016 USD
  • ECHO Asia Library: PA.006, PG.014