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Exploiting Africa’s Treasure Trove of Plant Diversity

Many of Africa’s overlooked edible plants such as cowpea, pigeon pea, and sorghum are able to grow on land where mainstream crops can’t thrive – and are more resilient, withstanding the rising temperatures and more frequent droughts brought about by climate change. But knowledge of how to farm these plant species is slowly fading away, while a social stigma persists that they are only eaten by poor people, wrote Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, a climate change professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Neglecting agrobiodiversity in favor of monoculture has left farmers “vulnerable to external shocks”, so government incentives are needed to bring neglected crops back into the mainstream.