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The Potential of Faba Beans in Agricultural Systems and its Wild Relatives

Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) have emerged as a promising crop with multifaceted potential in modern agricultural systems. This review says about the diverse roles of faba beans can play in sustainable agriculture, encompassing aspects such as soil health, crop rotation, yield improvement, and nutritional benefits. Vicia narbonensis, Vicia palaestina, and Vicia kalakhensis these are wild relatives of Faba bean. Faba beans are potential to improve soil fertility and fix atmospheric nitrogen, offer substantial ecological advantages as a rotation crop. Moreover, their adaptability to diverse climatic conditions and relatively low input requirements makes them an attractive option for farmers aiming to mitigate environmental impacts while maintaining profitability. Beyond their agronomic benefits, faba beans also exhibit nutritional qualities, contributing to food security and human health. Faba beans are rich in protein (20-35%), carbohydrates (55-65%), dietary fiber (10-15%), vitamins, and minerals, making them a valuable source of essential nutrients. Their unique profile, including high levels of lysine and other amino acids, distinguishes them as a complementary protein source, particularly in vegetarian and vegan diets. Furthermore, bioactive compounds like flavonoids and phenolic acids are present in faba bean, which have properties like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, potentially reduces the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular ailments and certain cancers. Despite these advantages, challenges such as disease susceptibility and limited market demand pose obstacles to widespread adoption. This review identifies areas for further research and emphasizes the need for integrated approaches to fully harness the potential of faba beans in modern agricultural systems.