Wheat is the most important crop grown in this region. Subsistence and cash crops farming is undertaken with extensive and intensive production. The two most important cash crops are olives and grapes, the major source of income through exports.
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The Mediterranean basin has long been a site of temperate fruit and nut production. Grapes, olives, figs, almonds, dates, and carobs have been cultivated there since early times. This area has both active consumption and commerce in these crops. Mediterranean countries are also rich sources of plant germplasm with the potential for new crops, and the revival of old crops. Recently interest in traditional diets, particularly in the Mediterranean diet, has increased among the public and scientific health communities. At a recent international symposium (Tree Nuts, Health and the Mediterranean Diet), in San Francisco, scientists presented several lines of evidence indicating the Mediterranean diet has the potential to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases
The main crops in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs)1 detailed in this publication include cereals, rice, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, grapes, olives and dates.
The typically rugged terrain of the Mediterranean region has resulted in typical livestock and crop combinations. Wheat, vineyards and citrus fruits are the major crops, and small animals are the major livestock reared in the region. Horticulture is a major activity of this region, and most of the crops are grown during the winter with the help of winter rains.
The native vegetation of mediterranean climate lands must be adapted to survive long, hot summer droughts and prolonged wet periods in winter. Mediterranean vegetation examples include the following:
Evergreen trees: such as bay laurel, pine, cypress, and oak
Deciduous trees: such as sycamore, oak, and buckeyes
Fruit trees such as olive, figs, walnuts, and grapes
Shrubs: rosemary, Erica, Banksia, and chamise
Mediterranean agriculture is well known. From food crops production to cultivation of planted crops like olives, figs, and dates to farming of fruits and vegetables, Mediterranean agriculture has it all. Wheat is the most important crop grown in this region.