How can we nutritiously and sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050 – without causing additional resource depletion and damage to our planet? This is the challenge ahead of us. We are witnessing population growth coinciding with more poorly nourished people, while health problems related to poor nutrition are on the rise:
A lack of available foods to constitute a diversified diet is a crucial factor. This is particularly the case in the developing world where diets often consist of starchy staples with not enough nutrient-rich sources of food, such as animal source foods, fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses.
From 391,000 known plant species, 5,538 are known to be used for human food.
Just three – rice, wheat and maize – provide more than 50% of the world's plant-derived calories.
Bioversity International is investigating how agricultural and tree biodiversity can be better used within local food production systems to improve access to nutritionally-rich food sources and increase dietary diversity, with a particular focus on women of reproductive age and children under two.
We work with partners to mainstream locally available food biodiversity for sustainable food systems and healthy diets into national programmes and policies on food and nutrition security.
Find out more about how diet diversity can help meet global challenges in nutrition and health in this factsheet.
A primary focus of our work in nutrition is mothers and young children in West, East and Southern Africa as well as Asia and Latin America, with research initiatives that can be adapted to other regions.
Download the factsheets on our work in Western Kenya: