Tropical Biodiversity and Food Security
Ragone, Diane .
Breadfruit: Exploring the Global Potential of a Traditional Pacific Crop for Food Security, Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture.
Breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae) has been a reliable staple food in the Pacific region for more than 3,000 years with hundreds of named cultivars. Breadfruit is recognized in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as one of 35 important crops for food security worldwide. Three species, A. altilis, A. camansi, and A. mariannensis, plus natural hybrids (A. altilis x A. mariannensis) make up the breadfruit complex, yet only a fraction of this crop diversity is available beyond Oceania. Breadfruit is grown and used in the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, and other tropical regions, the majority of trees originating from just a few Polynesian cultivars introduced in the late 1700s. Breadfruit trees produce an abundance of nutritious fruit, are easy to grow, require little attention, thrive under a wide range of ecological conditions, begin bearing in three to five years, and produce for many decades. The Breadfruit Institute manages a field genebank of 120 cultivars from 34 Pacific islands, the Philippines, Seychelles, Indonesia, and Honduras. Innovative methods to propagate and distribute these cultivars are being developed. I will discuss strategies for making good quality breadfruit cultivars more widely available thereby providing trees for nutritious food, and sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, home gardens, and income generation in the tropics.
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1 - Po Box 735, Lawai, Hawaii, 96765, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
Time: 9:15 AM