African ‘orphan’ Crop

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    In News

    • Recently, Researchers have identified genes in Africa’s local food crops that can improve resistance to drought.

    About Orphan crops

    • Meaning:
      • Orphan crops are nutritious local food crops that could play a crucial role in combating hunger
      • These crops are not traded internationally but have adapted themselves to grow in harsh weather conditions
    • Crops:
      • Orphan crops like finger millets, little millet; African yam bean, jojoba and jatropha are commonly found in the continent.

    Significance

    • Climate change 
      • It is a solution to growing concerns of climate change hampering crop productivity.
      • It had identified genes that were high temperature tolerant, had increased salinity adaptability and had low water requirements that provided essential nutrition.
    • Improve crop yield 
      • Incorporating these genes through hybridisation might improve crop yield that is affected by increasing global temperatures and heatwaves
    • Tackling Heatwaves 
      • Countries like India and Pakistan are also likely to be affected by the prolonged heat waves. 
    • Role of Africa
      • Africa is estimated to help meet 25 percent of the world population’s food needs by 2050.  

    Source: DTE