Rediscovering Asia’s forgotten crops to fight chronic and hidden hunger

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Asia has a rich variety of nutritious ‘neglected crops’, domesticated since ancient times but mostly forgotten or underutilized today. These crops, including cereals, roots, nuts, pulses, fruits and vegetables, are adapted to their land, resilient to environmental challenges and rich in micronutrients. Changing current agricultural practices from a near monoculture to a diverse cropping portfolio that uses these forgotten crops is a viable and promising approach to closing the current gaps in production and nutrition in Asia. Such an approach was proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Zero Hunger initiative in Asia, which aims to end hunger by 2030. The Zero Hunger initiative is a promising approach to help increase access to nutritious food; however, it faces substantial challenges, such as the lack of farmer willingness to switch crops and adequate governmental support for implementation. Countries such as Nepal have started using these neglected crops, implementing various approaches to overcome challenges and start a new agricultural pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalNature Plants
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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