The Importance of Becoming Tamed: Wild Food Plants as Possible Novel Crops in Selected Food-Insecure Regions

Sulaiman, Naji and Abdul Aziz, Muhammad and Stryamets, Nataliya and Mattalia, Giulia and Mattia Zocchi, Dauro and M. Ahmed, Hiwa and Khan Manduzai, Ajmal and Ali Shah, Adnan and Faiz, Abdullah and Sõukand, Renata and Polesny, Zbynek and Pieroni, Andrea (2023) The Importance of Becoming Tamed: Wild Food Plants as Possible Novel Crops in Selected Food-Insecure Regions. Horticulturae, 9 (2).

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Domestication of new plants is one of the key (ongoing) phenomena in the history of agriculture. Wild plants are the ancestors of current and future crops and the largest reservoir of genetic diversity for crop breeding and improvement. Wild food species have been used for human nutrition since ancient times and are often the object of human strategies for coping with emergency situations, such as natural disasters and conflicts. We analyzed qualitative data collected through ethnobotanical field studies conducted in recent years in five selected Eurasian regions (Afghanistan, Kurdistan region of Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Ukraine) that have been recently affected by wars and/or socio-political turbulence. Data were collected through participant observation and semi-structured interviews with local people. We identified five taxa for each region, which are culturally very salient in the local food systems, that retain an important economic value in local markets, and that, therefore, could be good candidates for becoming novel crops. The cultivation of the reported species may significantly help local communities in their post-war livelihoods and especially in terms of food security and domestic nutritional care. Future studies should focus on the agronomic feasibility of the highlighted species within their regional ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethnobotany; wild food plants; Afghanistan; Kurdistan; Pakistan; Syria; Ukraine
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QK Botany
R Medicine > RV Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Depositing User: ePrints deposit
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 12:34
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 12:34

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