INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES OF INDIA WITH POTENTIALS FOR IMPROVING LIVELIHOOD
The Indian subcontinent represents one of the richest diverse genetic resources. Of the estimated 250,000 species of flowering plants at global level, about 3,000 are regarded as food source, in which only 200 species have been domesticated. Global diversity in vegetable crops is estimated at about 400 species, with about 80 species of major and minor vegetables reported to have originated in India. However, with the advent of cut-and-burn agriculture and green revolution/ commercialised agriculture, the development project areas and related activities of these diverse resources are declining at a fast pace. Overgrazing, deforestation, and over exploitation of native resources under range situations have eroded the biodiversity from this unique ecosystem. Moreover, traditional knowledge about these important indigenous plant species has also decreased in the younger generation influenced by urbanisation. Indigenous plant species provide a variety of products like food, medicines and raw materials. They are also an important source of renewable energy. The Indian subcontinent has been one of the rich emporia of 2,500 plant species used in indigenous treatment and food sources. This paper highlights important annual and perennial indigenous herbs, shrubs and tree vegetables and their use in alleviating hunger, malnutrition and improving health, thereby making a difference in livelihoods.
Chadha, M.L. (2009). INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES OF INDIA WITH POTENTIALS FOR IMPROVING LIVELIHOOD. Acta Hortic. 806, 579-586
hunger, malnutrition, biodiversity