Experts have said that the turmoil in the Middle East could lead to starvation in the future.
Nigel Maxted, of the University of Birmingham's School of Biosciences said that as an indirect result of the civil wars raging in Syria and Iraq, millions of people will face starvation in the future, the Independent reported.
AdvertisementHe added that the highest concentration of wild crop plants needed to produce new food varieties is in the Middle East, but the current scenario threatens future food resources because of the crucial role the region plays as the home of the wild plants continually needed to improve the genetic quality of domesticated crops.
Experts from Birmingham University, who are involved in a new initiative by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation to help conserve the wild relatives of crop plants in the countries where they are found, cite that Middle East is the basis of our future food security as wheat was brought to the UK from the Fertile Crescent, which lies in the conflict zone.
Dr Maxted added that the human population is set to expand from the 7.26 billion to 9.6 billion by 2050 and several million people would die as a result of these species not being present, as about 21 percent of wild crop relatives are threatened with extinction, globally.
The findings will be presented at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.