Exploring food fortification potential of neglected legume and oil seed crops for improving food and nutrition security among smallholder farming communities: a systemic review
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A systematic review of literature on value-addition and food fortification of cereals using neglected legume and oil seed crops among smallholder farming communities was done. There is scanty and very limited empirical evidence on the use of legumes in food fortification of cereals at the household level. This is largely because of a neglect of local micronutrient provision initiatives at the household level, with much attention being done at policy and industrial scale food fortification levels. Besides, the current policies do not provide for the fortification of most food crops commonly grown in smallholder farming communities and there are very few initiatives that are in place to promote localised fortification options among rural communities. The paper consolidated existing knowledge on food fortification in general, value addition of small grains and neglected legume and oil seed crops. It explored fortification potential of sesame, cow pea and groundnuts and mapped existing gaps and missing links hampering the enhancement of food security and nutrition. This study recommends the promotion of groundnuts and sesame production, their value addition, and their use in the fortification of cereal food products to complement protein, Vitamins, Fe, K, Na, Mg, Zn, and Ca provision. This will significantly contribute to the alleviation of malnutrition among rural communities particularly in developing countries where agriculture is the mainstay of economies.