STARTING POINTS FOR CROP RESEARCH TO PROMOTE DIVERSIFICATION

D. Fritz
The term diversification is used to be interpreted by economists already as the change from a one-sided economic structure to broad diversity in a production system (WOLL, 1987), incorporating new products into a production and marketing program. Measures taken to promote diversification are generally applied to special regional conditions. They may be quite differently seen under different aspects, such as economic, social, or climatic factors, plant research providing the basis for all of those aspects.

In industrial societies, the consumer expects to be supplied with broad a variety of food for delicious and healthy nutrition. Growers expect a large degree of efficiency of crop production. In countries where hunger prevailes the variety of crops grown there may be added by plants which are rich in protein. The great diversity of plants may in general be saved and used for health care, for nutrition and for improving the lives of men (Choudhury, 1987).

The definition given in this paper is 'Possibilities and measures to promote diversification of supply', aiming at increasing the consumption rate. I think that we will also need a systematology of diversification, if we want to discuss scientific results. This may in principle be realized by five different ways, no. 1 and no. 2 of which requiring less research efforts:

  1. Development of gradings of well-known current species according to viewpoints which may be different from the existing standards.
  2. Changed handling of the harvested crop of well-known current species, e.g. selling the product partly prepared for cooking, or changed cooking procedures. The food industry, too, may contribute to diversification of canned food, e.g. by producing vegetable chips, or by canned sour Helianthus tuberosus etc., or by improved qualities of vegetable juices. But since this is not a problem of plant production it may be neglected here.
  3. Breeding of new cultivars of current species which differ distinctly from the old ones in appearance (shape - colour - size), in health-promoting composition, in flavour, or in their suitability; expressed briefly: vegetables as medicinal plants (Jakobey et al., 1988).
Fritz, D. (1989). STARTING POINTS FOR CROP RESEARCH TO PROMOTE DIVERSIFICATION. Acta Hortic. 242, 193-202
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.242.27
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.242.27

Acta Horticulturae