New Crops for Arid Lands

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Science  28 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4669, pp. 1445-1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4669.1445


Five plants are described that could be grown commercially under arid conditions. Once the most valuable component has been obtained from each plant (rubber from guayule; seed oil from jojoba, buffalo gourd, and bladderpod; and resin from gumweed), the remaining material holds potential for useful products as well as fuel. It is difficult to realize the full potential of arid land plants, however, because of the complexities of developing the necessary agricultural and industrial infrastructure simultaneously. To do so, multicompany efforts or cooperative efforts between government and the private sector will be required.