Agricultural Biodiversity Is Essential for a Sustainable Improvement in Food and Nutrition Security
Agricultural biodiversity has hitherto been valued almost exclusively as a source of traits that can be used in scientific breeding programs to improve the productivity of crop varieties and livestock breeds. We argue that it can make a far greater contribution to increased productivity. In particular, a wider deployment of agricultural biodiversity is an essential component in the sustainable delivery of a more secure food supply. Diversity of kingdoms, species and genepools can increase the productivity of farming systems in a range of growing conditions, and more diverse farming systems are also generally more resilient in the face of perturbations, thus enhancing food security. Diversity can maintain and increase soil fertility and mitigate the impact of pests and diseases. Diversity of diet, founded on diverse farming systems, delivers better nutrition and greater health, with additional benefits for human productivity and livelihoods. Agricultural biodiversity will also be absolutely essential to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change, not simply as a source of traits but as the underpinnings of more resilient farm ecosystems. Many of the benefits of agricultural biodiversity are manifested at different ecological and human scales, and cut across political divisions, requiring a cross-sectoral approach to reassess the role of agricultural biodiversity in sustainable and secure food production.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pimentel, David, 2003. "Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity: Jeffrey A. McNeely and Sara J. Scherr, Island Press, Washington, DC, 2003, ISBN: 1-55963-644-0, 313 pp," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 513-514, October.
- Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing Neglected and Underutilized Crops to Strengthen Food Security and Alleviate Poverty in India," MPRA Paper 43037, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Levin, Carol E. & Long, Jennifer & Simler, Kenneth R. & Johnson-Welch, Charlotte, 2003.
154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing Neglected and Underutilized Crops to Strengthen Food Security and Alleviate Poverty in India," MPRA Paper 43094, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Ravi, S.B. & Hrideek, T.K. & Kumar, A.T.K. & Prabhakaran, T.R. & Mal, B. & Padulosi, S., 2010. "Mobilizing neglected and underutilized crops to strengthen food security and alleviate poverty in india," MPRA Paper 37492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:238-253:d:10940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.