Perennial agriculture, including perennial grains, oil seeds and legumes as well as forages and trees can take sustainable intensification to the next level and achieve productivity goals as well as social benefits and functioning ecosystem processes and services.
It has been only in the past few years that the benefits of developing perennial grain-based cropping systems and the need to do so have become widely acknowledged. This has drawn the attention of major scientific societies, leading journals and governmental agencies. Much of that attention has been focused on the ecological benefits that perennial plants can confer on landscapes: erosion prevention, efficient capture and use of water and nutrients, protection of water resources, carbon sequestration and maintenance of thriving soil ecosystems.
The proceedings from the FAO workshop on Perennial Crops for Food Security will be available soon.
Title photo (from the left): Spikes of Thinopyrum intermedium, Thinopyrum ponticum, Triticum monococcum, Triticum turgidum ssp durum
Photo credits: Norberto Pogna