Bananas and cassava can take the place of wheat and rice

October 31, 2012. Global warming could lead to a radical change to the usual food of millions of people, according to the expert report, commissioned by the United Nations.

Experts from the company CGIAR believe that a number of developing countries to replace the potatoes can come from fruit of the banana family.

As temperatures rise, cassava, and little-known legume culture cowpeas can be much more important food, researchers believe. According to their forecasts, after growing potatoes and cereals will be impossible, people will have to get used to new and varied products.

Responding to the request of the UN Committee on World Food Security, a group of experts reviewed the options for impact of global warming on the 22 most common in the world of food crops.

Bread made from bananas

"When farmers see that the change of cultures brings benefits to them, they are easy to change."
Bruce Campbell, CCAFS

The area under the three most important food for millions of people crops — maize, rice and wheat — will decrease in many developing countries, warn experts invited by the United Nations.

Potatoes, which grows best in areas with moderate temperature conditions, may also be affected by climate metamorphosis.

The report's authors suggest that because of climate change will be possible cultivation of certain varieties of bananas in the higher latitudes, even in those areas where it is grown potatoes.

Dr. Philip Thornton, one of the authors of the report, said that bananas can be a good substitute for other energy-dense crops.

Currently wheat is the most important vegetable protein source in the world. However, in many developing countries, wheat crops are reduced due to the high price of cotton, corn and soybeans.

One of the crops that can get spread in the future, particularly in South Asia, it is cassava, which easily makes a variety of temperature conditions.

Bruce Campbell — Director of the Research Group on Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS), which coordinates the work of the leading institutions in the world. According to him, such a change in diet have repeatedly occurred in the past.

"Just 20 years ago in Africa, almost no one knew of rice, but now it is widespread. People have changed their habits because of the prices. Moreover, easy to prepare Fig. This will occur in the future. "

Sources of protein in danger

Cassava can be a substitute for potatoes in the future

Experts worry that climate change could jeopardize sources of protein in the diet of millions of people around the world. For example, soy is one of the most important of such sources, but in this case it culture is very sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

Scientists point out that the beans cowpeas, which are known in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa under the name of "meat poor", can be a good substitute for soy, as they are resistant to drought and grow well at high temperatures. Their stems can also be used as feed for livestock.

In some countries, such as Nigeria and Niger, farmers are now abandoning cultivation of cotton and instead switch to beans cowpeas.

There are changes in animal husbandry.

"In southern Africa, more and more farmers are moving from raising cattle to the content of goats. They are forced to this frequent droughts — says Dr. Campbell. — This is a sign that the changes in habits are very real and even inevitable. "

Source: BBC Russian Service

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