World Biodiversity Day / Food security at the center of CSRS activities

Biodiversity, including ecosystems and the containing diversity of species, contributes to food security and to improvement of the nutrition of people. Its management plays an important role in the development of sustainable agriculture and effective strategies against malnutrition.

The CSRS reviews the results of research in the field of food security and the sustainability of agricultural production systems during the World Biodiversity Day (May 22nd, 2019), whose theme was : Our Biodiversity, our food, our health.

In the field of nutrition research, attention has long been focused on the nutritional potential of wild species, underutilized or undervalued species. The CSRS was part of this dynamic through the work of Herzog (1992), carried out in collaboration with ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and focusing on nutritional study of wild food plants in the V-Baoulé (Central part of Côte d’Ivoire).

This study concluded that wild fruits and picking vegetables contribute significantly to meeting the food needs of the rural populations living in this area. In addition, taking into account biodiversity in nutrition is increasingly looking at diversity within food species.

Thus, for nearly twenty years, the CSRS has introduced improved cassava and yam varieties to farmers in Côte d'Ivoire. These varieties, with yields that are two to three times higher than those of traditional varieties are, contribute not only to enhancing biodiversity but also to ensuring food security of people.  

Research activities are continuing in this area, focusing on varieties rich in specific nutrients (ex.  varieties of maize rich in provitamin A) to fight against nutritional deficiencies facing populations.

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