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Future Foods
2022, 81-105

Future grain crops

Callistus Bvenura, Learnmore Kambizi

Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville, South Africa.

Abstract

Climate change has had devastating effects on agriculture, industry, and food security. The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation as tons of crops have had to be destroyed due to the global closure of retail outlets. This raises questions on the world’s preparedness to deal with pandemics without ceasing food production and distribution. Most staple foods comprise grain crops; therefore, feeding the ever-increasing global population means increasing production of these crops. There is a need for drought, pest, and disease-resilient crops that are nutritionally superior and health-promoting. Future grain crops need to be produced in a cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally conscious way. Therefore, some innovative farming methods need to be explored. The future of agriculture, therefore, conceivably lies in the use of artificial intelligence, less reliance on agricultural chemicals as well as carbon-emitting fuels, hydroponics, and short-season cultivars, among others.

Keywords: Agricultural artificial intelligence, Cereal pests and diseases, Food and nutrition security, Polyphenols, Pseudocereals, Underutilized grains.

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