Creating an economic stake for conserving the diversity of small millets in the Kolli Hills, India”.

TitleCreating an economic stake for conserving the diversity of small millets in the Kolli Hills, India”.
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKing E.DIsrael, S. Ravi B, Padulosi S
Book TitleCommunity Biodiversity Management: Promoting Resilience and the Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources

The general trend in agriculture, particularly concerning grain and cash crops, is an increasing shift towards monoculture, with the focus on a few, high-yielding varieties and hybrids. Thus, agriculture is becoming dependent on just a handful of cereal crops for meeting the demands of the food supply, resulting in a diminishing genetic diversity both on the farm and in dietary habits. According to the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, three crops – maize, wheat and rice – make up an estimated 87% of all food grain production. This has led to the neglect of a large number of diverse crops that have been contributing to local food security, playing an important role in the livelihoods of local communities in many developing
countries. These neglected crops are of particular importance to those living in the semi-arid, mountainous and remote regions of the tropics and subtropics, where crops with a high genetic diversity, suited to stringent ecological niches, have evolved over the years. Most of these regions, besides being hotspots of genetic diversity, are burdened with high populations, poverty and frequent food shortages. Oftentimes, the hardy, adaptive traits of these local crops can save the people from total starvation. Under these conditions, increasing the competitiveness and improving the economic viability of these neglected crops is a must for promoting their effective utilization (Padulosi et al., 2008).

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