Africa’s Forgotten Crops Could Offset Growing Food Insecurity
3 May 2022
The world’s exports and reserves of agricultural commodities are concentrated geographically, making populations vulnerable to price shocks, supply-chain disturbances and climate change.
The war in Ukraine is revealing the danger this concentration poses (see Nature 604, 217–218; 2022), particularly for African countries already experiencing significant food and nutrition insecurity. Rather than simply doubling down on the production of a few globally traded crops (A. Bentley Nature 603, 551; 2022), it would be better to diversify food systems.
Investment in historically grown, nutritious African cereals such as sorghum, fonio and teff, barley and legumes would be transformative.