Indigenous Crops Contributing to Food Security

Photo credit: Food Tank

Food Tank has compiled a list of indigenous fruits, vegetables, and grains from across the globe, which may improve health while contributing to environmental sustainability. 

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), just twelve crops provide 75 percent of the world’s food. Three of these crops, rice, maize, and wheat contribute to nearly 60 percent of the protein and calories obtained by humans from plants. Since the beginning of the 20th century, some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost.

Restoring interest and investment in indigenous crops may offer a solution to food insecurity and the increasing loss of biodiversity. Some traditional plant varieties can help improve nutrition and health, improve local economies, create resilience to climate change, revitalize agricultural biodiversity, and help preserve tradition and culture.

Read more on Desertification blog.

Wednesday is International Mountain Day, an opportunity to promote the conservation and sustainable use of increasingly scarce resources from mountain areas.

Did you know that mountains are home to 12% of the human population and cover approximately one-quarter of the world’s surface? Or that some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains?

Take a look at this animated video from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to see how mountains are the key to the sustainable future we want: http://j.mp/1czvl31

FAO Study Shows Cross-Benefits Between School Feeding Programmes and Family Farming

A newly-published FAO study conducted in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru shows numerous benefits of implementing school feeding.

According to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, “This is a triple-win approach: it secures quality food for students of public schools, promotes consumption of fresh and healthy food, and opens new markets and the possibility of higher incomes for family farmers while boosting local development.”

The full report, “A Panorama of School Feeding and the Possibilities for Direct Purchases from Family Farming - Case Studies in Eight Countries” is available for free download in Spanish.


Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet (1899), Act V Scene 2.