Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

We need to put more biodiversity on the sustainable development menu

13 Jun 2017

In this guest blog post, Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International, kicks off Farming First's brand new series 'SDG2 Countdown' by stressing the importance of diverse foods in A nutritious diet.
For five weeks, Farming First are counting down to the United Nations’ meeting that will track SDG progress, by exploring the five targets related to SDG2: ending hunger. This week, they explore SDG2.5: protecting genetic diversity.

When the UN announced its Decade of Action on Nutrition in 2016, hot on the heels of the Sustainable Development Goals, many media outlets used a picture of a child eating a bowl of white rice, to illustrate the promise of better nutrition for all.  There’s just one problem. Rice alone is not enough. Yes, it will prevent the most basic form of hunger but rice lacks many of the vitamins and minerals essential for good health.

Without these vitamins and minerals, this child’s growth will be stunted, his immune system weakened, and his intelligence lower than it ought to be, costing him a lifetime of lost income and productivity. That is why the Sustainable Development Goal’s Target 2.1 of “access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round” is so important, because it adds “nutritious” to “sufficient”.

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