SCIENCE + NEGLECTED CROPS = BETTER BIODIVERSITY
- Impact Area
Neglected crops can improve soil health, reduce water usage, provide a nutritious food source, and enhance biodiversity. As they are often native to the regions where they are grown, they are naturally adapted to local stresses, making them ideal for sustainable agriculture and use in harsher environments where popular staple crops struggle. But despite their benefits, neglected crops like faba bean, chickpea, lathyrus, and others, are often overlooked in favor of popular, but less sustainable, crops like wheat, rice, and corn.
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of modern agriculture’s often negative impact on our health and environment. Monoculture cropping, inappropriate land use, and the overuse of chemical inputs have led to soil degradation, desertification, and biodiversity loss. At the same time, many staples drive a globally popular diet of ultra-processed and low-nutrient foods. Indigenous crops, such as chickpea, lentil, and faba bean, among other legumes, barley, oats, millets, and others, offer a sustainable and nutritious alternative that improves biodiversity.