African Lives Matter: Wild Food Plants Matter for Livelihoods, Justice, and the Environment—A Policy Brief for Agricultural Reform and New Crops | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2021
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-midp001151
Copyright details: 
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article

International agricultural policies to address hunger and malnutrition in the tropics and sub-tropics have typically been based on approaches to the intensification of farming systems effective in industrialised economies where the social, economic, and environmental conditions and the infrastructure are very different to those in Africa. The consequence of this short-sightedness has been that agricultural productivity, dependent on ecosystem services from natural capital, has declined in Africa due to ecological and environmental collapse. This has undermined the livelihoods of the millions of smallholder farmers living on the brink of the cash economy, leading to severe social injustice. This review summarises advances in smallholder agriculture’s sustainable intensification in the tropics and sub-tropics, leveraging the domestication and commercialisation of wild indigenous tree species that produce nutritious, marketable, and useful food and non-food products. These are grown within diversified and multifunctional farming systems together with conventional food staples and local orphan crops to reduce land degradation, pollution, water extraction, and nutrient mining while promoting services such as pollination and other ecological functions. The benefits arising from this approach simultaneously address hunger, malnutrition, poverty, social injustice, and a stagnant economy, as well as important global issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation. Addressing these issues may also reduce the risk of future pandemics of zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19. This set of serious global issues epitomise our divided and dysfunctional world and calls out for action. Enhancing sustainable smallholder productivity using indigenous and wild foods is an important international policy and business intervention, vital for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the rebalancing of the global economy by restoring natural capital within new African indigenous food industries.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Leakey, Roger R. B.Mabhaudhi, TafadzwanasheGurib-Fakim, Ameenah

Corporate Author(s): 
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Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050; CODEN: SUSTDE) is an international, cross-disciplinary, scholarly and open access journal of environmental, cultural, economic, and social sustainability of human beings. Sustainabilityprovides an advanced forum for studies related to sustainability and sustainable development, and is published monthly online by MDPI. 


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    Fournisseur de données

    MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

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