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The challenge

In order to feed the projected population of 9 billion people by 2050, how can food production be sustainably expanded by 60% globally and up to 100% in developing countries?

This is the global challenge ahead of us.

Productive, profitable farms and associated ecosystems rely on a few key factors to address the challenges of rural poverty, natural resource degradation and global food security: environmental factors – light, water, soil and a vast array of biodiversity; genetic factors – seeds and planting materials suited to farmer conditions; and management – the choices farmers make about how they manage their fields and farms. Rural communities are further challenged, as their farms are burdened by biodiversity loss, salinity and degraded soils, weather variability and continuous pressure from pests and diseases.

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Our solutions

This Bioversity International Initiative studies how both agricultural and wild biodiversity can improve soil characteristics, increase water quantity and quality, regulate pests and diseases, and enhance pollination to increase productivity and livelihood benefits, now and into the future.

The initiative works through two approaches:

Ecological intensification and diversification

This area of work focuses on how agricultural and tree biodiversity improves resilience at the field and landscape level.

Our research produces biodiversity-based technologies and decision-support tools that will be used to address farmers’ needs. How? Through appropriate seeds, planting materials and management approaches that boost farm productivity, reduce pests and diseases and improve livelihoods.

Landscape restoration and management

Working with communities, this research focuses on biophysical, social and institutional mechanisms that influence the flow and delivery of ecosystem services.

We investigate how practices, behaviour, institutions and different incentives can be used or improved to increase ecosystem services and better distribute their benefits to people, with an emphasis on promoting gender and social equity.

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