Underutilized Vegetables: A Tool to Address Nutritional Issues, Poverty Reduction and Food Security

  • M. Yasin Ashraf
  • Muhammad Ashraf
  • Munir Ozturk


Due to different biotic and abiotic factors, agriculture is unable to produce enough quantity of food, fodder, feed, biofuel and industrial raw materials from available land resources. Currently food security depends upon a limited number of staple food crops, fruits and vegetables having different environmental, ecological, biological (insect, pests), nutritional and economic issues due to which handful amount of productivity of these crops is impossible, resulting in uncertainty in food security. Therefore, to fulfil the food demands of ever-growing population of the world, use of underutilized vegetables and other crops is the better option. The underutilized crops have better adaptation for adverse biotic and abiotic stresses. There are many underutilized vegetables available, which are the good source of protein, carbohydrates, micronutrients and vitamins. Additionally they are being used as medicinal plants and fodder of animals, and their vegetative portions are used as industrial raw materials; these valuable components are necessary to attain food security. Generally, vegetables have commercial value, so they are the good source of income for farmers owing small lands. As very limited research has been done on different aspects related to their adaptations, genetics, agronomy, economics, etc., the existing wild types and available varieties having wide adaptation and commercial potential could be recommended for cultivations. In this chapter, nutritional and medicinal values of underutilized vegetables and their role in poverty alleviation and food security are briefly discussed.


Food security Underutilized vegetables Abiotic stress Nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Yasin Ashraf
    • 1
  • Muhammad Ashraf
    • 2
  • Munir Ozturk
    • 3
  1. 1.Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB)FaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Pakistan Science FoundationIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Centre for Environmental StudiesEge UniversityIzmirTurkey

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