Exploring Potential of Minor/Underutilized Grasses for Remote Areas Facing Food Scarcity

  • Farooq Ahmad
  • Mansoor Hameed
  • Muhammad Sajid Aqeel Ahmad


Cereals belong to the family Poaceae that is considered one of the most widely distributed families of Angiosperms and is of great value as a staple food for human beings and for animals as a fodder and forage. For human beings, major food crops, i.e., wheat, rice, and millet, have prime importance on commercial level due to their nutritional value. Grasses growing in wild provide suitable habitats, food, and shelter to wild life. In the world, population is increasing at alarming rate and this rapid population growth in developing countries increases burden on its limited resources. As the human population is increasing, the demand for food is also increasing. On large area of cultivated land, most of the major crops are facing continuous decline in the poor countries, and therefore these countries are facing food shortage. Different food crops once cultivated in Africa and Asia were primarily cereals but due to changes in cultivation preferences, they disappeared from these zones. Different species of grasses, i.e., wild rice, and different species of millets growing in wild can be cultivated as an alternate food for humans and as a source of fodder for cattle. These underutilized crops have great potential of being used as alternate food crops because of their nutritional value, rapid growth, and capability for cultivation in the arid areas. Most of the grasses mentioned here in this chapter are being used mainly as food and for forage in different regions of the world that are facing food scarcity, especially in Africa.


Underutilized grasses Food scarcity Poaceae Millets 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farooq Ahmad
    • 1
  • Mansoor Hameed
    • 1
  • Muhammad Sajid Aqeel Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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