Distribution of Articles published per year
(2009 - 2017)
(2009 - 2017)
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Article 1 Read 0 Citations Developing a Roadmap for Improving Neglected and Underutilized Crops: A Case Study of South Africa Published: 14 December 2017
Frontiers in Plant Science, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.02143
Reports of neglected and underutilized crops' (NUS) potential remain mostly anecdotal with limited and often incoherent research available to support them. This has been attributed to lack of clear research goals, limited funding directed at NUS and journal apathy toward publishing work on NUS. The latter points also explain the lack of interest from emerging and established researchers. Additionally, the NUS community's inability to articulate a roadmap for NUS' promotion may have unintentionally contributed to this. The current study is a sequel to an initial study that assessed the status of NUS in South Africa. The objective of this follow-up study was then to (i) identify priority NUS, and (ii) articulate a strategy and actionable recommendations for promoting NUS in South Africa. The study identified 13 priority NUS, categorized into cereals, legumes, root, and tuber crops and leafy vegetables based on drought and heat stress tolerance and nutritional value. It is recommended that the available limited resources should be targeted on improving these priority NUS as they offer the best prospects for success. Focus should be on developing value chains for the priority NUS. This should be underpinned by science to provide evidence-based outcomes. This would assist to attract more funding for NUS research, development and innovation in South Africa. It is envisaged that through this roadmap, NUS could be transformed from the peripheries into mainstream agriculture. This study provides a template for developing a roadmap for promoting NUS that could be transposed and replicated among the 14 other southern African states.
Article 1 Read 0 Citations Effect of soil fertility and maturity stages at harvest on maize yield under rain-fed conditions Published: 20 September 2017
Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, doi: 10.1080/03650340.2017.1372572
Article 2 Reads 1 Citation Status of Underutilised Crops in South Africa: Opportunities for Developing Research Capacity Published: 06 September 2017
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su9091569
Underutilised crops represent an important component of agro-biodiversity with potential to contribute to climate change adaptation, food security and sovereignty in poor rural areas. However, despite emerging research interest, they continue to occupy the peripheries of mainstream agriculture. There is a need to consolidate the gains made and propose a coherent strategy for translating underutilised crops into mainstream agriculture. The status of underutilised crops in South Africa (past, present and on-going research) was reviewed with a view to identifying existing gaps, opportunities and challenges for developing future research capacity. The review confirmed that several underutilised crops are drought tolerant, adapted to low levels of water use and thus suitable for cultivation in most marginal production areas typical of semi-arid and arid cropping systems. In addition, several are nutrient dense and could be used to improve dietary diversity among poor rural people. These characteristics make them ideal for inclusion in climate change adaptation and promotion of food sovereignty. There is need for a paradigm shift away from practices that have promoted a few major crops to an agro-ecology based land use classification system that recognises diversity and strengthens food networks. There is a need to identify those underutilised crops that show the greatest potential for success and can be fitted into semi-arid and arid cropping systems and prioritise them for future research, development and innovation.
Article 1 Read 0 Citations Calibration and testing of AquaCrop for selected sorghum genotypes Published: 21 April 2017
Predicting yield response to water is important in rainfed agriculture. The objective of this study was to calibrate and test AquaCrop for simulating yield of 3 sorghum genotypes (PAN8816, a hybrid; Macia, an open-pollinated variety; and Ujiba, a landrace) grown during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 planting seasons (early, optimal and late planting dates). Variables considered during model evaluation included canopy cover (CC), biomass (B) and yield (Y). The model was able to simulate CC (R2 ≥ 0.710; root mean square error (RMSE) ≤ 22.73%; Willmott’s d-index (d) ≥ 0.998), biomass accumulation (R2 ≥ 0.900; RMSE ≤ 10.45%; d ≥ 0.850), harvest index (R2 ≥ 0.902; RMSE ≤ 7.17%; d ≥ 0.987) and yield (R2 ≥ 0.945; RMSE ≤ 3.53%; d ≥ 0.783) well for all genotypes and planting dates after calibration. AquaCrop over-estimated biomass and crop yield. The relatively good simulations produced by the minimum data input calibration confirm AquaCrop’s simplicity and suitability for use in places where extensive datasets may be unavailable. Biomass and yield overestimation resulting from the use of the minimum data input calibration suggests that other parameters (water productivity, canopy sensitivity to water stress and water stress coefficient) are required to improve canopy and yield predictions for sorghum genotypes.Keywords: modelling, parameterization, minimum data input calibration, sorghum, water availability
Article 1 Read 3 Citations Expounding the Value of Grain Legumes in the Semi- and Arid Tropics Published: 01 January 2017
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su9010060
Approximately 70% of the population in the semi- and arid tropics reside in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Crop production is primarily focused on a few starchy staple crops. While this can ensure adequate calories, it inadvertently neglects the need for dietary diversity. Consequently, food and nutritional insecurity remains prevalent in the semi- and arid tropics. We reviewed the legume value chain with the aim to identify opportunities and challenges to unlocking their value and promoting them in the tropics. Several grain legumes are rich in proteins and micronutrients. They also possess adaptability to marginal environmental conditions such as drought and low input systems which typify rural landscapes. Adaptability to abiotic stresses such as drought makes them key to agriculture in areas that will receive less rainfall in the future. However, this potential was currently not being realized due to a range of challenges. Aspects related to their seed systems, production, post-harvest handling and marketing remain relatively under-researched. This was especially true for minor legumes. There is a need for trans-disciplinary research which will address the entire value chain, as has been done for major starchy crops. This could also unlock significant economic opportunities for marginalized groups such as women. This will unlock their value and allow them to contribute meaningfully to food and nutrition security as well as sustainable and resilient cropping systems.
Article 2 Reads 1 Citation A Comparative Study on Antioxidant Potential of Selected African and Exotic Leafy Vegetables Published: 01 December 2016
HortScience, doi: 10.21273/HORTSCI11161-16
African leafy vegetables (ALVs) are thought to contain an immense variety of antioxidants, which may provide nutritional and health benefits. However, there is limited, robust, and comparable information describing their nutritional composition. The aim of this study is to determine the antioxidant potential of selected ALVs [black jack (Bidens pilosa L.) and amaranth (Amaranthus hybridus L.)] in comparison with exotic leafy vegetables (ELVs) [lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), green cabbage (Brassica oleracea), red cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata)]. Different nonenzymatic and enzymatic antioxidant assays were used to determine plant carbohydrates (CHOs) using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), phenols (Folin–Ciocalteu), ascorbic acid, carotenoids, total antioxidant capacity (TAOC) using reducing ferric ion antioxidant potential (FRAP) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH) assays, super oxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and peroxidase (POD). Both amaranth and black jack produced high levels of CHOs, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and phenols during early vegetative growth [4 weeks after transplanting (WAT)]. Similarly, SOD, CAT, and POD activity for amaranth and black jack also increased during early vegetative development. Conversely, exotic vegetables (lettuce and cabbages) only increased these antioxidants toward maturity. Overall, ALVs have produced higher concentrations of antioxidants specifically during early vegetative growth stage than the exotic vegetables. The promotion of ALVs could promote a healthy alternative especially in poor rural households.