Towards the sustainable production and use of neglected root and tuber crops in the tropics

Background

Very little work has been dedicated so far to promoting tropical root and tuber crops such as yams and tarot. Yet, those crops hold promise to significantly contribute towards food security, income generation and traditional medicine’s production for many poor. These crops are also extremely important in the culture of many groups. These crops are not only neglected by research but also by policy makers who do not realize the benefit that could be drawn from them. If not more is invested in the research and promotion of those crops, there is a risk that they will disappear, leaving a potential source for population health and wellbeing untapped.

Objective

The objective will be to develop biophysically, institutionally and economically acceptable innovations for increased productivity, food security, profitability and environmental sustainability of neglected tropical root and tuber crops.

Expected benefits

  • In partner countries: Improved food production, improved income along the value chains that revolve around these crops and less land clearing.
  • In Switzerland: Yams are a source of secondary metabolites interesting for human health. Currently these compounds are extracted for the pharmaceutical industry from wild yams, but these yam species are disappearing and should be replaced by cultivated yams.

Contact Information

Emmanuel Frossard, emmanuel.frossard@usys.ethz.ch, phone: +41 52 354 91 40

Group of plant nutrition, ETH Zürich

Towards the sustainable production and use of neglected root and tuber crops in the tropics
Towards the sustainable production and use of neglected root and tuber crops in the tropics

Partner countries: West Africa and South Asia

Cost: CHF 4 Mio

Duration: 4 years