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Managing the nutrition of plants and people

White, P. J., Broadley, M. R. and Gregory, P. J. ORCID: (2012) Managing the nutrition of plants and people. Applied and Environmental Soil Science, 2012. 108826. ISSN 1687-7675

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1155/2012/104826


One definition of food security is having sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet dietary needs. This paper highlights the role of plant mineral nutrition in food production, delivering of essential mineral elements to the human diet, and preventing harmful mineral elements entering the food chain. To maximise crop production, the gap between actual and potential yield must be addressed. This gap is 15–95% of potential yield, depending on the crop and agricultural system. Current research in plant mineral nutrition aims to develop appropriate agronomy and improved genotypes, for both infertile and productive soils, that allow inorganic and organic fertilisers to be utilised more efficiently. Mineral malnutrition affects two-thirds of the world's population. It can be addressed by the application of fertilisers, soil amelioration, and the development of genotypes that accumulate greater concentrations of mineral elements lacking in human diets in their edible tissues. Excessive concentrations of harmful mineral elements also compromise crop production and human health. To reduce the entry of these elements into the food chain, strict quality requirements for fertilisers might be enforced, agronomic strategies employed to reduce their phytoavailability, and crop genotypes developed that do not accumulate high concentrations of these elements in edible tissues.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:30960
Publisher:Hindawi Publishing Corporation


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