Grow us our daily bread: A review of breadfruit cultivation in traditional and contemporary systems

Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Diane Ragone, Nyree J.C. Zerega, Laura B. Roberts-Nkrumah, Mark Merlin, A. Maxwell P. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


Breadfruit species (Artocarpus altilis and A. altilis × A. mariannensis) have been an important food and material resource for many Pacific Island societies for centuries, and have traditionally been a primary staple for many small islands and atolls. Domesticated by Near Oceania peoples several thousand years ago, breadfruit was spread throughout the tropical Pacific Islands as a core part of their agricultural economies. During the historical European colonial period, breadfruit cultivars were spread to many new tropical regions outside of Oceania, where they have become an important food source to varying degrees. Breadfruit played multiple roles in traditional cultivation, from closed canopy food forests, to heavily managed agroforesty systems, to backyard trees. In contemporary times, technological advances have facilitated new small-to large-scale production for commercialization of breadfruit. As breadfruit cultivation becomes increasingly extensive, agronomic information on cropping systems and production management becomes increasingly necessary for efficient crop production and loss prevention. This review covers the botanical classification of breadfruit; its traditional spread, cultivation, and uses; and contemporary research into the agronomic aspects of breadfruit growth and production, including the physiology, ecology, yields and phenology, propagation, pests and diseases, and symbionts. We conclude by outlining the future agronomic research priorities for breadfruit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHorticultural Reviews
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.
Number of pages86
StatePublished - Oct 8 2018

Publication series

NameHorticultural Reviews
ISSN (Print)0163-7851


  • Agriculture
  • Agronomy
  • Artocarpus
  • Artocarpus altilis
  • Artocarpus mariannensis
  • Breadfruit
  • Cultivation
  • Oceania
  • Traditional crops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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