Relation Between Food Security and Agro-Biodiversity

Biodiversity is fundamental to food security and agricultural production. It is also a valuable component of environmental conservation. The direct effect can be shown on livestock, plant genetic resources, insects and soil organisms.

Relation Between Food Security and Agro-Biodiversity

Food Security and Agro-BiodiversityFrom last few years, we are witnessed of loss of biodiversity and agriculture. The conflicts between agriculture and biodiversity can be overcome with changes in agricultural policies and institutions and sustainable farming practices. At all levels in farming systems, sustainable use and enhance biodiversity are necessary. Food production, health and the maintenance of ecosystems and livelihood security is dependent on agriculture and biodiversity.

In the world, Agricultural biodiversity is a fundamental feature of farming systems. There are many types of biological resources that encompasses to agriculture. They include many factors such as:

1) Edible plants, traditional varieties of crops, cultivars, other genetic materials;

2) Soil organisms that affect soil fertility, quality structure, and health;

3) Genetic resources of plants and animals;

4) Livestock and freshwater fish;

5) Agro-ecosystem components for nutrient cycling, productivity and stability;

6) Bacteria and fungi that help to control pests and diseases of plants and animals;

7) ‘Wild’ resources for better ecosystem functions and services


Some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost since the 1900s. This happened because the farmers of worldwide left multiple local crop varieties for high-yielding varieties and genetically uniform. According to the recent studies, around 30% of livestock breeds are at extinction which means each month we are losing six breeds. Only 12 plants and 5 animals we use for our most of the consumption as a food i.e. 75% of the world’s total food.

Animals provide 30 percent of human requirements for food. 12% of the world’s population live entirely on products from ruminants. 60% of proteins and calories obtained by humans from plants only.

Loss of coastal wetlands, loss of forest cover, decreasing aquatic environment and ‘wild’ uncultivated areas, are the exacerbate the genetic erosion of agrobiodiversity.

Wild-food is usually used as a dietary supplement and daily food consumption for farmers. They are dependent on their domestic livestock, crop harvest, and food purchases on local markets.

Reasons for Decline in Agro-biodiversity

There are many reasons for the adverse effect on agro-biodiversity. If we see the jump, the 20th century accelerates the decline of agro-biodiversity. With the growing population of the world, the demand for natural resources also increases rapidly. But sadly, we couldn’t increase the production at the same rate. The underlying causes include:

1) The rapid expansion of industries. This also includes Green Revolution agriculture, intensive livestock production, aquaculture and industrial fisheries. Some production systems use genetically modified breeds and varieties. Moreover, only few crop varieties are cultivated in monocultures. The cultivation of fish, domestic animal breeds, or few aquatic species is reared.

2) Globalization of the food system and marketing. This is the second largest factor. The extension of industrial patenting and intellectual property, to living organisms, has led to the vast cultivation and rearing of fewer varieties and breeds. This results in a more uniform, less diverse, but more competitive global market.

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