Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

REPORT: Staple crop diversification. Why and how to diversify from the big five crops (wheat, rice, maize, potato & soy)

The Staple crop diversification paper outlines the appropriateness and feasibility of diversifying food value chains from the big five crops that dominate them today, meaning wheat, rice, maize (also known as corn), soy and potatoes (referring broadly to any roots/tubers).

New business models are needed to ensure that diversity in staple crops across the value chain stages emerges to safeguard their resilience and economic viability in the medium and long terms, while also potentially delivering better nutrition. A comprehensive and coordinated approach to diversifying staple crops that mixes consumption, transformation, trade and production levers has the best chance of succeeding.

The paper will form the foundation of a dialogue with companies aimed at identifying solutions for such diversification at production, trade, procurement, product design and consumption levels, creating new markets and business opportunities that can align with and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Food Systems Summit 2021 and the Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 provide unique opportunities for businesses and other stakeholders to come together in coalitions of action that aim to renew humanity’s relationship with how it produces and consumes food – from governments and NGOs to the people who are the end-customers of these companies.

View the publication


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