Uncultivated foods — leaves, fruits, small fish, mollusks and so on gathered from field borders, roadsides, forests, ponds and other ‘wild’ places — account for an average of 65% of the food weight and all of the fodder and fuel needs of very poor landless households in a study area in Bangladesh, and 34% of the food weight and 20% of the fuel and fodder needs of better-off landed households. In the Medak district of Andhra Pradesh 79 species of uncultivated leafy greens were found to be used as food.
These are just two of the findings of a series of studies reported in a book published by the Academic Foundation, India, and the International Development Research Centre, Canada.
The book, ‘Food Sovereignty and Uncultivated Biodiversity in South Asia: Essays on the Poverty of Food Policy and the Wealth of the Social Landscape’, is available on line here.
A useful summary of the book is available on the Eldis website.