Crop Diversity a Pillar of Food Security

Population expansion coupled with urbanisation of fertile agricultural lands together with modernisation in every aspect of human daily activities which create biodiversity are getting eroded in direct and indirect ways. Deforestation, land degradation, coastal development as well as environmental stress collectively lead to large scale extinction of plant species, more importantly, agricultural food crops, which drives food security and agricultural production. Genetic diversity can be described as the key pillar of biodiversity, and of course diversity within species as well as between species and ecosystem, which is echoed in Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). But the challenge is as a result of modern crop varieties, particularly the types developed primarily for high yielding potential under well-endowed production conditions--such varieties are often unsuitable for low income farmers who are found in marginal production environments and face high variable stress conditions.

Neil Palmer/CIAT


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