Dr Babak Nakhoda, Head, Department of Molecular Plant Physiology, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran talks in this video (in Farsi) about the agricultural challenges in Iran and the need for smart foods like millets.
A major issue is climate change and its major impacts on Iranian agriculture and farmers’ livelihoods. There is also overgrazing in pastures and hilly sites and soil erosion. A suggested solution is the application of forage grasses to produce fodder and conserve soil and water resources and maintain biodiversity in rangelands as well as in low productive dryland areas. The application of halophytic and xerophytic plant species for economical production is recognized in salt and drought-affected areas and to combat desertification and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in hot spots of sand, dust, and salt storms using low quality and brackish waters e.g. in the Lake Urmia region by the cultivation of Salicornia.
The pivotal role of forgotten crops like millets are highlighted especially the important role they can play in coping with climate change and role in flourishing Iranian agriculture and improving farmers’ livelihoods. As well as this the opportunities for processed products are identified which can create jobs and meet national food and nutrition security.