Bananas could replace potatoes in warming world
Climate change could lead to crops from the banana family becoming a critical food source for millions of people, a new report says.
Researchers from the CGIAR agricultural partnership say the fruit might replace potatoes in some developing countries.
Cassava and the little-known cowpea plant could be much more important food crops as temperatures rise.
People will have to adapt to new and varied menus as traditional crops struggle, say the authors.
When the farmers see the problems they are having with production, they really are willing to shift”
But how easy will it be to get people to adjust to new crops and new diets?
Bruce Campbell is programme director of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security research group (CCAFS) which co-ordinates work among leading institutions around the world. He told BBC News that the types of changes that will happen in the future have already happened in the past.
One of the big concerns among researchers is how to tackle the need for protein in the diet. Soybeans are one of the most common sources but are very susceptible to temperature changes.
The scientists say that the cowpea, which is known in sub-Saharan Africa as the "poor man's meat" is drought-tolerant and prefers warmer weather and could be a reasonable alternative to soya. The vines of the cowpea can also be used as a feed for livestock.
In some countries, including Nigeria and Niger, farmers have already moved away from cotton production to growing cowpeas.
There are also likely to be developments in animal protein sources says the report, including a shift to smaller livestock.
"This is an example of something that's happening already," said Dr Campbell. "There's been quite a shift from cattle keeping to goat keeping in southern Africa in face of droughts - when the farmers see the problems they are having with production, they really are willing to shift.
"Change is really possible. It's not just a crazy notion."