Organic Agriculture and Innovative Crops under Mediterranean Conditions
AbstractClimate change is the greatest environmental threat facing humanity worldwide. Areas of South-East Europe and Mediterranean basin are expected to be among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. As a result of climate change, new species and crops have been introduced and may be introduced in the coming years. In addition, FAO considers that Organic Agriculture is an effective mitigation strategy to climate change and can build robust soils that adapt better to weather extremes associated with climate change. This review provides an overview of the growth performance of new innovative crops, including chia, camelina, quinoa, teff and nigella and retrovative crops such as flax and emmer wheat, based on experimental investigations conducted under Mediterranean conditions and organic cropping system. Several studies, performed under organic system, have proved that innovative crops can also be grown for alternative uses. Quinoa and chia could be successfully used in animal feed. Moreover, quinoa could be exploited as a medicinal plant due to saponins extracted from seed coats. Nigella and camelina seeds contain oils which can have several uses in pharmaceutical and food industries. Flax seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can be accepted in the diets designed for specific health benefits. According to the literature, it is observed that innovative crops cultivated under organic system present better quality and similar yields as with those cultivated under conventional system, and in some cases, even higher. Taking all these into account, organic agriculture could also be characterized as innovative and not only as traditional.
Open Access Journal:
The journal allows the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restriction. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.