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SIGNIFICANCE OF SEED DIVERSITY AND ITS MULTICULTURAL VALUES FOR FOOD SECURITY

Project Topic: Significance of Seed Diversity and its Multicultural Values for Food Security in Ebonyi State.


 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat. It is usually with some stored food. Seed is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm which occur after fertilization. The formation of seed completes the process of reproduction in seed plants that started with the development of flower and pollination, embryo developed from the zygote and seed coat from the integuments of the ovule (Cain et al., 2001).

Seed has been an important tool in the reproduction and spread of flowering plants, comparative to more primitive plants like ferns, mosses and liverworts, they do not have seeds and use other means of propagation. This can be seen by the success of seed plants (both gymnosperm and angiosperms) in dominating biological inches on land, from forests to grasslands both in tropical and temperate environments (Rostet al., 1979).

Seed has various uses apart from its major role as a source of food. it has proved medically helpful to man for instance; the laetrile seed is believed to be an important cancer drug. Sunflower seed is known to reduce the risk of stroke or kidney stones, as a result of its potassium content (Vogel, 1979). The magnesium in sunflower seed can also help in reducing blood pressure, eliminate migraines. Sunflower seed can also help in reducing the severity of asthma-related conditions. Also, the sesame seed is an efficient immune enhancer, with its emollient and laxative properties (Igor, 2007). Seeds like the wheat seed are administered in states of demineralization, anaemia, and tuberculosis. The anabolic effect of the velvet seed is because of is extremely efficacious in increasing testosterone.

Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories come from seeds especially from cereals, legumes and nuts. It also provides most cooking oils, many beverages, spices and some important food additives.

Seeds are used to propagate many crops such as cereals, legumes, forest trees, turfgrasses and pasture grasses. Seeds are also eaten by animals, fed to livestock, and are also used as birdseed. Some seeds are edible, while others are harmful, poisonous, and even deadly.

However, the diversity of these seeds have continuously been on the decreasing side as a result of the narrowing bases of dietary habit by man, changing economic status and recent strong patronages of fast food by humans. This situation is fast snow borrowing to food insecurity.

With many of them going into extinction without base line data on them, the major aim of this work is to identify and document the genetic diversity of seed utilizes by some local communities in Ebonyi State in cushioning food insecurity.

The Objectives of this are the following

  • Identify, collect and document the diverse seeds used as food in Ebonyi State.
  • Evaluate the dominant plant family of these seeds.
  • Determine the habit and uses in cushioning the adverse effects of food security in Ebonyi State.

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Topic: Significance of Seed Diversity and its Multicultural Values for Food Security in Ebonyi State.

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