Nutraceutical phyto-agrobiodiversity among Lake Victoria basin's smallholdings revealing dietary diversity
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"Nutraceutical Plant-Agrobiodiversity" (NCPAB) with a multi-meaning implication as applied in our current research project context is a less commonly used term than is dietary diversity. On one hand, NCPAB may be taken as a basis of dietary diversity. Beyond that, however, as our studies in the Lake Victoria Basin using the X-ray Fluorescent (XRF) Analysis for assigning nutrametric grades to mineral micronutrient dense variation indexing (nutraceutical diversity) suggest, small hold farming practices in the region might be important determinants limiting the NCPAB crop range richness and distribution on farm units. With the XRF Mineral Micronutrient Dense (XRF-MINIMIDE) grading method, MINIMIDE data mining as a reflection of NCPAB richness appears to be confined to a small range of only 10 to 15 farm unit crop species. The small number implies possible diminishing of agro-biodiversity on today's family smallholdings in the Lake Basin. Among other factors, land fragmentation leading to even smaller sized farm holdings and the associated households' worsening impoverishment needs, reduced soil fertility due to over use of land, nutrient fluxes and constricting list of underutilised indigenous plant species could or might already be affecting household food, nutrition, health and the general wellbeing of the occupant operators much more today than probably before. Our data are raising issues that warrant finding ways by which indigenous/ underutilised plant agro-biodiversity can be retained/rescued/restored back to a stable agroecosystem by premium-value nutraceutical use which can lead to conservation on the farm units upon which a bulk of the rural people primarily depend on for much of their nutrahealth wellbeing. Prior to considering the up-scaling and out-scaling of the findings of our XRFMINIMIDE grading method, coupling the XRF technique with an NIRS procedure could form the applicability value of our results for the user community.