Crop Biotech Update

FAO Report: Biodiversity Vital for Food and Agriculture Declining Fast

February 27, 2019

The biodiversity, which is vital for food and agriculture, is disappearing by day, according to the first-ever report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture. The report stresses that once biodiversity is lost, all the species that support the world's food systems and sustain the people who grow and/or provide our food, cannot be recovered.

The report, prepared with the guidance of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, is based on the data provided by 91 countries. It was reported that there is a decreasing plant diversity in farmers' fields, an increasing number of livestock breeds at the risk of extinction, and a rising proportion of overfished fish stocks. Of the ~6,000 plant species cultivated for food, only about 200 contribute significantly to global food production, and only nine account for 66 percent of total crop production.

With the alarming data presented, the report also highlights the role of the general public in reducing the pressures on biodiversity for food and agriculture.

Read the report from FAO.