1. Lost crops of the incas.
Report of an Ad Hoc Panel of the Advisory Committee on Techn. Innovation; Board on Science and Technology for International Development; National Academy Press; USA; Repr. 1990, 415 pp., ISBN 0-309-04264-X, Price £17.15
This book focuses on 30 of the "forgotten" Incan crops that show promise not only for the Andes, but for warm-temperate, subtropical, and upland tropical regions in many parts of the world.
It is aimed at informing administrators and research scientists in both developing and developed countries of the existence of these 'lost' plants which, in fact, still exist but which have been overlooked by agronomists in recent years, after being cultivated to a high level of efficiency and distributed throughout the Andean region of the Inca Empire.
More than 600 people from 56 countries (see Research Contacts) have directly contributed to this book. A few species described -capuli cherry and zambo squash, for example - are not Andean natives but are included because the Andean types have much to offer the rest of the world.
The main objective of this publication is to contribute to the raising of nutritional levels and the creation of economic opportunities for the further development of these plants. This claim appears to be fully justified for the more than 30 crops covered in the text.
The division of the text into the traditional agronomic groupings of Roots and Tubers, Grains, Legumes, Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts is logical and provides ready reference to the common or vernacular names of the crops.
The text is devoted to roots and tubers, reflecting the importance which still exists in some Andean regions of the numerous members of the Cannaceae, Leguminosae, Cruciferae, Solanaceae, Basellaceae and other families which have edible roots or tubers. The second most important section is the fruits which include many commodities which are now becoming, or are likely to become, important in international markets.
Most crop sections have an introduction which contains general comments on their importance and potential usefulness, followed by lists of species and cultivars, where applicable, the future prospects for the crop, nutrition, agronomy, environmental limitations, harvesting information and research needs.
There are useful appendices which include Research Contacts for individual crops and selected references under specific crop headings.
This report has been written for dissemination to administrators, entrepreneurs, and researchers in developing countries as well as in North America, Europe, and Australasia. It is not a handbook or scientific monograph: references are provided for readers seeking additional information. Its purpose is to provide a brief introduction to the plants selected, and it is intended as a tool for economic development rather than a textbook or survey of andean botany of agriculture. The ultimate aim is to raise nutritional levels and create economic opportunities, particularly in the Andes. The report, however, deliberately describes the promise of these plants for markets in industrialized nations. It is in these countries (where a concentration of research facilities and discretionary research funds may be found) that many important research contributions are likely to be made.
This book will be of considerable value to anyone wishing to promote the cultivation of these crops which have been overlooked for such a considerable period.
This book has been produced under the auspices of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation (ACTI) of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development, National Research Council. ACTI is mandated to assess innovative scientific and technological advances, particularly emphasizing those appropriate for developing countries.
Since its founding in 1971, it has produced almost 40 reports identifying unconventional scientific subjects of promise for developing countries.
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Review, article, agriculture, forestry, plants, food crops, legumes, fruits, trees, schrubs, BOSTID
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