Forgotten Fruit (12/13)

This is also part of this series: Earth Report (13)

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Subjects: Agriculture, Environment, Forests, Sustainable Development

Grade Level: JrH-Adult
Producer: TVE
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 22 mins
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Study Guide: Additional resources - see link below

Copyright Date: 2008
Available in French: No

In the Kolli Hills of India, scientists are beginning to have some success in a project to reintroducing a once popular grain, millet. But it's not easy. Millet has been neglected by science and is of little commercial value. Many farmers have switched to cash crops using the money to buy cheap rice. Although globally now a minor crop, millet is both highly nutritious and very tough. Millet could help provide secure food for the future around the world especially with accelerating climate change. Just four km from the millet project, scientist Dr Balakrishnan from the Swaminathan Foundation is meeting farmers who grow only cassava, also known as tapioca. Like millet, it too was once neglected in different part of the world but now here in the hills It's the cash crop they sell to the factories in the plains below. The problem of forgotten crops is not confined to India. Italy – a country famed for its cooking –is losing agricultural heritage. Isabella dalla Ragione has spent the last quarter century looking for lost varieties of fruit in Umbria. For her it's a never-ending quest.

Links: http://www.tve.org/earthreport/archive/doc.cfm?aid=1878