Policy Brief: Dietary diversification for enhanced human nutrition

Dependence on a small number of cereal crops has led to increasing concerns about human diets being energy rich but nutrient poor (Stadlmayr et al., 2011; Toledo and Burlingame, 2006). Micronutrient deficiencies are now recognized to be more widespread than energy/protein malnutrition with at least 1.5 billion people likely to be affected by one or more micronutrient deficiency (GBD, 2016).


This policy brief explains how consuming a diverse range of plants can improve the nutritional quality of the human diet, and contribute to improved health and livelihoods. It provides evidence to support policies that encourage the consumption of currently underutilised crop plants.


The five species are chosen as exemplar crops that are currently the focus of individual and scattered research programmes. They were selected to illustrate both the potential contribution that underutilised species could make in addressing global hunger and nutritional security, whilst at the same time highlighting the gaps in our knowledge of the true potential of these and other species.

POLICY BRIEF: Dietary diversification for enhanced human nutrition (The role of underutilised crops)

No. of pages: 4

Organisation: Crops For the Future Research Centre

Format: PDF

File size: 676KB


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