Opportunity Crop Profiles for the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) in Africa

Karl, Kevin A.; MacCarthy, Dilys; Chimwaza, Gracian; Fredenberg, Emily; Guarin, Jose; Méndez Leal, Elena; Kozlowski, Natalie; Narh, Stephen; Sheikh, Hafsa; Valdivia, Roberto; Wesley, Gershom; Yang, Meijian; Valdivia, Roberto; Van Deynze, Allen; van Zonneveld, Maarten; Salah Freduah, Bright

The Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (or “VACS”) is a movement that brings together dedicated communities and individuals from research, advocacy, and policy to shine a light on opportunities that traditional and underutilized crops provide to build more resilient and competitive food systems.

VACS was launched in February 2023 in partnership with the African Union (AU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Food Security at the State Department, with an initial focus on the African continent. This report is an in-depth crop analysis designed to provide a rigorous evidence base to the global community. By conducting a holistic assessment of a variety of well- researched crops (e.g., maize, cassava, soybean and tomato), compared to a non-exhaustive list of neglected and underutilized crops (e.g., opportunity crops, such as bambara groundnut and fonio), we aim to provide actionable insights into the crops that are best equipped to provide stable and nutritious diets in the face of climate variability and extreme weather events in geographies across the continent.

This piece of research is not meant to be exhaustive or exclusionary towards considering a broader set of crops. We hope this process and the findings are a stepping-stone to provide an evidence-based assessment on behalf of a global agenda. This report was produced alongside the VACS: Research in Action Report, (also known as the Summary Report) which outlines the guiding concepts of the VACS approach, overviews research conducted to date to expand the evidence base, recommends areas of focus for the movement going forward, and ways to engage in VACS.

Geographic Areas


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Published Here
March 15, 2024