Local foods pave the way… Updates on the BFN Project






The properties of many African leafy vegetables in Kenya remain unexplored. Photo: Bioversity/D.Hunter

The properties of many African leafy vegetables in Kenya remain unexplored. Photo: Bioversity/D.Hunter

Local foods pave the way for achieving the post-2015 development targets

Malnutrition continues to be a persistent challenge and solutions such as fortification and biofortification are widely promoted as cost effective solutions to global undernutrition problems. Partners of the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project (BFN Project), however, continue reminding us that nature provides an abundance of wild and cultivated food species that can be used as an equally valid alternative for the promotion of good nutrition and health.

Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey – country partners to the BFN Initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility – continue their work to identify conservation-worthy biodiversity with nutrition potential, and to promote awareness and interest in the use of traditional, cultivated and wild plant and animal species and varieties to bridge the nutrition gaps that are affecting populations worldwide. Some traditional crops may in fact provide a culturally-acceptable and sustainable alternative to prevent malnutrition using food-based approaches. Furthermore, many of these traditional foods are sold by women making these perceived “low-value” foods an important long term investment to lift from out of poverty.

However, this abundance from nature cannot be taken for granted and the importance of initiatives such as the BFN project cannot be emphasized enough. As highlighted in a recent scientific report by Khoury et al. and resulting article by Rachel Nuwer in the BBC, the food on our tables grows more….

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