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Survey of Indigenous Underutilized Food Crops: Implications for Propagation and Conservation for Sustainable Food Security in Nigeria

The world’s tropical rain forests are rich in biodiversity but there is rapid depletion of this natural resource worldwide

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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Faculty of Agriculture, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Government (City, State, National, etc.)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

S/N Name Rank Highest Qualification Area of Specialization 1 Nkiru T. Meludu Professor Ph.D Agric. Extension/Rural Development; Food/Nutrition Security 2 Raphael N. Okigbo Professor Ph.D Plant Pathology/Mycology 3 Innocent O. Igwilo Professor Ph.D Nutritional/Environmental Biochemistry 4 Okorie O. Ndukwe Senior Lecturer Ph.D Horticulture 5 Chinyere C. Okeke Senior Lecturer Ph.D Farm Management/Production Economics 6 Christian Iwuagwu Lecturer I Ph.D Plant Pathology 7 Adaobi E. Obidiebube Lecturer II Ph.D Crop Production 8 Henry Okolie Lecturer II Ph.D Plant Breeding and Genetics 9 Uko Ibeabuchi Lecturer I M.Sc Weed Science 10 Chiamaka C. Obasi Lecturer II M.Sc Plant Breeding and Genetics 11 Udemba Klinsman M.Sc student B.Agric Agricultural Economics 12. Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria 13. Central Bank of Nigeria 14. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria 15. Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria

Website of Legally Registered Entity

info@unizik.edu.ng

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Nwafia Street, Umueze Village, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Nigeria

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Nigeria covers an area of 910,768 km2 and has thirty states with a Federal Capital Territory. It is divided into six geopolitical zones

What country is your selected Place located in?

Nigeria

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

With the increasing population of Nigeria and the food production not meeting the nutritional demand of the population, it is necessary to conserve edible species that are going into extinction. Food sufficiency and security in Nigeria is not only providing foods but meeting the nutritional requirement of every food intake and making it affordable to the people. the following makes it necessary for this project: •The traditional medicine practitioners in Nigeria hide the identity of medicinal plants and discourage its cultivation, due to fear of lack of patronage in order to mystify their trade, leading to a huge loss in the knowledge of these plants. •The over exploitation of the wild populations and lack of conservation programmes are two interlocking problems dealing with sustainable management of these plant resources especially in Nigeria. •The underutilized crop species are cheap and abundant source of proteins, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins and fibres. •However, there is dearth of information on the propagation and improvement of these indigenous underutilized crop species.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Nigeria is made up of 371 ethnic with people of diverse culture, tradition and food. Food in Daily Life. Western influences, especially in urban centers, have transformed Nigerian eating habits in many ways. City dwellers are familiar with the canned, frozen, and prepackaged foods found in most Western-style supermarkets. Foreign restaurants also are common in larger cities. However, supermarkets and restaurants often are too expensive for the average Nigerian; thus only the wealthy can afford to eat like Westerners. Most urban Nigerians seem to combine traditional cuisine with a little of Western-style foods and conveniences. Rural Nigerians tend to stick more with traditional foods and preparation techniques. Food in Nigeria is traditionally eaten by hand. However, with the growing influence of Western culture, forks and spoons are becoming more common, even in remote villages. Whether people eat with their hand or a utensil, it is considered dirty and rude to eat using the left hand. While the ingredients in traditional plates vary from region to region, most Nigerian cuisine tends to be based around a few staple foods accompanied by a stew. In the south, crops such as corn, yams, and sweet potatoes form the base of the diet. These vegetables are often pounded into a thick, sticky dough or paste. This is often served with a palm oilbased stew made with chicken, beef, goat, tomatoes, okra, onions, bitter leaves, or whatever meats and vegetables might be on hand. Fruits such as papaya, pineapples, coconuts, oranges, mangoes, and bananas also are very common in the tropical south. In the north, grains such as millet, sorghum, and corn are boiled into a porridge-like dish that forms the basis of the diet. This is served with an oilbased soup usually flavored with onions, okra, and tomatoes. Sometimes meat is included, though among the Hausa it is often reserved for special occasions. Thanks to the Fulani cattle herders, fresh milk and yogurt are common even though there may not be refrigeration. Alcohol is very popular in the south but less so in the north, where there is a heavy Islamic influence. Perhaps the most popular form of alcohol is palm wine, a tart alcoholic drink that comes from palm trees. Palm wine is often distilled further to make a strong, ginlike liquor. Nigerian breweries also produce several kinds of beer and liquor. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Food plays a central role in the rituals of virtually all ethnic groups in Nigeria. Special ceremonies would not be complete without participants sharing in a meal. Normally it is considered rude not to invite guests to share in a meal when they visit; it is even more so if the visitors were invited to attend a special event such as a marriage or a naming ceremony.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

206140000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

•The traditional medicine practitioners hide the identity of medicinal plants and discourage its cultivation, due to fear of lack of patronage in order to mystify their trade, leading to a huge loss in the knowledge of these plants (Obute, 2015). •The over exploitation of the wild populations and lack of conservation programmes are two interlocking problems dealing with sustainable management of these plant resources especially in Nigeria. •The underutilized crop species are cheap and abundant source of proteins, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins and fibres. •However, there is dearth of information on the propagation and improvement of these indigenous underutilized crop species.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

My vision will make the availability of natural and nutritional food available all the generations despite the increasing population. My country currently facing food sufficeincy challenge, there is urgent need to harness, propagate and preserve most of the indigenous foods going into extinction and do serve lots of purposes and that is what this vision will help do 

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Nigeria will be more safer eating natural traditional foods which will keep them healthier and more productive. The lives of the people will be elongated and food prices will be reduced. Through this vision, there will be food sufficiency in Nigeria and resources will be distributed across everyone where even the farmers will not be left out

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

The Nigerian food guide is a food pyramid divided into five food groups. At the bottom are bread, grains and tubers, followed by vegetables and fruits. Both groups are to be eaten at every meal. Eggs, fish, meat and dairy are on the third level, and are to be eaten in moderation.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Prize partners

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Thank you so much for the Food Extension Initiative.

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