MAPS IN SICILY: CULTIVATION, USES AND POTENTIALITY
In Sicily, MAPs have been used and cultivated for centuries, with many uses ranging from the preparation of fresh or stored food items, flavoring of foods and beverages, home-made human or animal therapy or even aesthetical purposes. Many of them grow spontaneously and are claimed to play a significant role in land biodiversity. The widespread belief that only under natural conditions can MAPs find their optimum quality features has driven many cases of uncontrolled collection from the wild, as a result many of them are nowadays at a risk of extinction. The field cropping of such spontaneous species could play an important role in safeguarding biodiversity. It could also help in solving some of the major land-use problems, giving raw matters and intermediate products dealing with a significant economic value to many productive sectors, even external to agriculture. Much work has already been done in this direction, but much work is still to do. More resources and combined efforts are required in order to explore the genetic variability inside those plants and to choose, for each plant or plants group, the most suitable cropping technique.
Carrubba, A., Militello, M. and Catalano, C. (2013). MAPS IN SICILY: CULTIVATION, USES AND POTENTIALITY . Acta Hortic. 997, 277-282
Mediterranean environments, multifunctional agriculture, biodiversity, natural products, cropping techniques