How Reviving Native Crops Can Help Solve the Food Crisis

by Ella

Global dietary diversity has been declining for decades, with three major crops dominating people’s diets: wheat, rice, and corn. These three crops account for more than 40% of the calories humans consume and, along with sugarcane, make up about half of the world’s primary crop production.

This focus on producing fewer crop varieties that can be easily mass-produced and shipped has left the global food system increasingly vulnerable to shocks and stresses caused by climate change and disease.


With little economic incentive to grow them, many farmers have abandoned traditional and indigenous crops – also known as orphan, lost and minor crops – in favor of cash crops such as wheat and maize.


But efforts are underway to bring back some of these neglected indigenous crops – and chefs are playing a leading role. The Chefs’ Manifesto is a network that brings together chefs working on various initiatives aimed at transforming the food system. Devex spoke with chefs from different parts of the world about the local ingredients they’re championing to create a more resilient food system.




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