The shortage of food in the world recently prompted the Director General of
FAO, Edouard Saouma, to reiterate the special need for food in densely populated
rural areas of developing countries (1). We need new food sources, and we should
not restrict ourselves to increasing supplies of existing ones to meet this
demand (2). In our attempts to develop these potentials we should, however,
avoid theoretical overkills (3).
In this paper, I shall try to take these points into account while studying
the question of whether new sources can be tapped to a significant extent, and
whether these new rural sources can provide food that is affordable, whole some,
and acceptable organoleptically. In view of the latter point, I would like to
emphasize that, especially in rural areas, consumers are extremely critical.
This is by no means limited to developing countries only. In the Netherlands,
too, children are taught, "What a farmer is not familiar with, he does not