Wednesday, 24 September 2014

FAO advocates perennial grains (report)

Perennial Crops for Food Security: Proceedings of the FAO expert workshop

 In the past few years the potential benefits of developing perennial grain-based cropping systems has become widely acknowledged. Much attention has been focused on the ecological benefits that communities of perennial plants can confer on a landscape: erosion prevention, efficient capture and use of water and nutrients, protection of water resources, carbon sequestration, and maintenance of thriving soil ecosystems. There is also growing recognition of the potential benefits for smallholder farmers: reduced expenditure for seed, fertilizer, and other inputs; more reliable stand establishment and early vigour; less effort expended on weed control; extended growing seasons; less transplanting; and protection of biodiversity. Perhaps the most important benefit of perennial agriculture will be the protection and development of healthy soil ecosystems that can ensure food security over the long term.

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