This book provides case studies on cultivating alternative crops and presents new cropping systems in many regions of the world. It focusses on new emerging research topics aiming to study all aspects of adaptation under several stresses including agricultural, environmental, biological and socioeconomic issues. The book also provides operational and practical solutions for scientists, producers, technology developers and managers to succeed the cultivation of new alternative crops and, consequently, to achieve food security.
Many regions in the world are suffering from water scarcity, soil and water salinization and climate change. These conditions make it difficult to achieve food security by cultivating conventional crops. A renaissance of interest for producing alternative crops under water scarcity and water salinization has been, therefore, implemented primarily among small-scale producers, researchers and academics.
The use of alternative crops (quinoa, amaranth, legume crops, halophytes, …etc.) may provide some environmental benefits such as valorization of salt-affected soils, reduced pesticide application, enhanced soil and water quality and promotion of wildlife diversity. This also may provide some economic benefits such as providing the opportunity for producers to take advantage of new markets and premium prices, spreading the economic risk and strengthening local economies and communities.
Furthermore, alternative crops are often rich in proteins and minerals, and even some of them are Gluten free (quinoa). This reflects their importance to achieve food security in quantity and quality scale. The year 2013 was exceptional for alternative crops as it was the international year of quinoa celebrated by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This reflects the importance of research conducted on quinoa and other alternative crops in many regions of the world.