|Author: ||L.B. Roberts-Nkrumah|
|Keywords: ||introduction, utilisation, production, markets, germplasm, post-harvest, processing, health|
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) was introduced to the Caribbean in 1793 to enhance the food supply.
This paper presents a brief account of the introduction and discusses the changing status of the crop as a carbohydrate food source in terms of consumption levels, major methods of utilisation, production systems and markets.
The constraints to commercialisation of the crop, and past and present research activities undertaken to address these limitations, are also discussed.
Research activities include germplasm collection, conservation, description and evaluation, macro- and micro-propagation, crop phenology, pruning, disease control, post-harvest physiology and technology, product development, nutritional composition, and medicinal and insecticidal properties.
Research on breadnut (A. camansi), a close relative, is outlined.
Breadfruit has significant potential to contribute to food needs in the region.
Development of the agricultural sector and breadfruit conservation and commercialization are linked.
Closer collaboration among producers, processors, marketers, the rural population, government agencies and research and training institutions is a necessary framework for achieving these objectives.
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