Strategies on Conservation, Improvement and Utilization of Underutilized Fruit Crops
International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences
Journal homepage: http://www.ijcmas.com The crops, which are neither grown commercially on large scale nor traded widely, may be termed as underutilized crops. Underutilized crops are lesser-known plant species in terms of marketing and research, but well adapted to marginal and stress conditions. The popularity of these horticultural crops varies from crop to crop and locality to locality, which however, can be enhanced to a greater extent through publicity. Since, the underutilized
... utilized horticultural crops have a long history of consumption, the local people are aware about their nutritional and medicinal properties. From the ongoing research worldwide, it is evident that underutilized wild edible plants possess high nutritional value. These plant species were good source of vitamins and minerals, but have now become less important. There is need to compile and disseminate that knowledge in order to help maintain cultural traditions and facilitate research into food history and new food sources. Due to unsustainable market pressures and rapid urbanization, majority of these species have come to near extinction. A holistic approach is hence proposed which includes both in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies, as well as re-governance of the market chain. Reinforcement of their domestication through standardization of cultivation practices, facilitation for supply of planting material and increasing the demands for the produce by exploring their uses, creation of awareness among consumers and establishing a good distribution network are also crucial for attaining sustainability.