Cropping systems

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Growing crops in the drylands is a risky enterprise for millions of small farms, a business that yields poorly. The crop choice depends on each household’s objectives, resources and environment. Many agricultural innovations could significantly raise the productivity of these cropping systems.

7 - Neolithic founder crops found in the fertile crescent: 3 cereals and 4 legumes (Lev-Yadun 2000)

50,000 - potential edible plants

60% – of the world's food energy intake comes from rice, maize and wheat

40%  – increase in demand for dryland cereals expected by year 2020 compared to 2000 in sub Saharan Africa and South Asia (IFPRI)

46 million tons – of nitrogen fixed biologically by legumes compared to 87 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer used each year (Peoples and al 2009)

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