Wild relatives of Native Species- have been since time memorial found to be useful.These plants, and also other organisms are closely related to biological wealth of nations. Mrs.Promila Kapoor PhD
( I prefer to use my professional name Dr.Mrs. Promila Kapoor-Vijay (c)
Rice genome`s recent studies have brought out 3000 plant races of wild rice.Similar work on Sweet potato, Amaranth, Buckwheat, and Chenopods is ongoing.
The Latest development in the search for new plants to answer problem of hunger and malnutrition- focus on future crops such as Chenopodium Quinoa( Quinoa) is being given high attention.
“Quinoa for Future Food and Nutrition Security in Marginal Environments
The global population is expected to increase to 9.7 billion in 2050 and there are concerns about the capacity of agriculture to produce enough food for the growing population. By some estimates, food production will need to go up by about 60 percent either through an increase in crop yields per unit area or expansion in the arable land by 2050 to meet the demand (World Population Prospects-the 2008 Revision, UN, 2009).
Several regions already suffering from malnutrition, water scarcity and soil degradation have been forecast to have a large population growth which raises serious concerns about whether traditional agricultural methods and crops species will have the capacity to sustain global food production targets.
Major cereal crops like wheat, rice, barley and corn are progressively failing to withstand increasing salinity and scarce water resources in marginal environments that are most vulnerable to climate change.
There is an urgent need to identify alternative solutions to sustaining, and, possibly, increasing agricultural productivity in areas where growing conventional crops has become difficult, but the alternative/underutilised traditional crops such as Millets, Amaranths, Buckwheat, Quinoa have great potential. Some species such as Chenopods and their wild relatives can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.(c)