UNDERUTILIZED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN BANGLADESH: CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY, POVERTY REDUCTION, HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
In Bangladesh, many underutilized fruits and vegetables are growing without much care largely in the homestead, fallow and forest areas as well as at the roadside and railway lines. Those fruits are well adapted to the local climate, are highly nutritious and contribute to poverty reduction and household food security of rural people and play a significant role in herbal medicine. Huge numbers of tribal people are also dependant on the underutilized fruits and vegetables. Underutilized fruit trees like river ebony (Diospyros peregrine), velvet apple (Diospyros discolor), Garcinia cowa and ber (Zizyphus mauritiana) contribute to protection against natural disasters and balancing the coastal ecosystem. The contribution of these fruits to the nutrition of poor people and in alleviating poverty in coastal, hunger prone (monga) and flood affected areas is also recognized. Plantations of the underutilized fruit ber (Ziziphus mauritiana cv. BAU Kul 1) tremendously contributes to poverty reduction and natural soil reclamation from saline to non-saline conditions. Almost every year, Bangladesh faces serious floods and other natural disasters in about one third of its area and people suffer serious food shortage and nutrition problems. Similarly, in the extreme northern part of the country (about one-tenth of the country area), periodic serious food crises due to shortage of employment and unavailability of crop harvests is popularly called monga. In all these areas, underutilized crops contribute a lot as risk buffers and ensure household food security. The paper mainly deals with the contribution of underutilized crops to food security, nutrition, rural employment and women participation. Finally, the paper focuses on the future policy of the management of underutilized fruits/vegetables in Bangladesh for economy, nutrition, food and sustainable development.
Rahim, M.A., Kabir, M.A., Anwar, H.R.M.M., Islam, F., Sarker, B.C., Bari, M.S., Naher, N. and Alam, M.S. (2009). UNDERUTILIZED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN BANGLADESH: CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATIONAL ECONOMY, POVERTY REDUCTION, HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION . Acta Hortic. 806, 423-428