Orphan Crops

Tadele, Zerihun (2020). Orphan Crops. In: eLS (pp. 1-9). Chichester: John Wiley& Sons, Ltd 10.1002/9780470015902.a0028901

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Orphan crops are crops with little significance at the global scale but play vital role in the food and nutrition security in the developing world. The term ‘orphan’ refers to the neglect of the crop by the international research community. Similar to major crops such as maize, wheat and rice, orphan crops belong to cereals, legumes, vegetables, root and tuber and fruits. Orphan crops possess desirable agronomical, nutritional and health‐related properties, which makes them favourable crops by both farmers and consumers. The ability of orphan crops to grow under extreme environmental conditions indicates their prospect in the changing climate. However, due to little scientific improvement, orphan crops produce inferior yield in terms of both the quantity and quality. The recent efforts by some researchers and institutions at the national and global levels have advanced the improvement of few orphan crops.

Item Type:

Book Section (Encyclopedia Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tadele, Zerihun


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




John Wiley& Sons, Ltd




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

27 May 2020 12:04

Last Modified:

27 May 2020 12:04

Publisher DOI:


Additional Information:

eLS subject area: Plant Science

Uncontrolled Keywords:

abandoned crops; crops of future; disadvantaged crops; neglected crops; niche crops; orphan crops; understudied crops; underutilised crop





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