Why agricultural biodiversity matters

  • Agricultural biodiversity written using different crops. Credit: Bioversity International/C. Zanzanaini
    Diverse vegetables used in Sri Lankan cuisine. Credit: Bioversity International/S. Landersz
  • Larvae of a Colorado beetle. Credit: Flickr/Y. Kalinin
    Bee on a flower. Credit: Bioversity International/L.Sebastian
  • Drought-resistant rice. Credit: CIAT/N. Palmer
    Harvest ceremony, Peruvian Potato Park, Cusco. Copyright: Frederik van Oudenhoven

1. Agricultural biodiversity is the foundation of agriculture

It is the source of genetic material that is vital to future generations.

Approximately 940 species of cultivated plants are threatened globally (Khoshbakht and Hammer, 2007). When a species or the diversity within a species is lost, we also lose genes that could be important for improving crops, promoting their resistance to pests and diseases, or adapting to the effects of climate change.