Why agricultural biodiversity matters - sustainability
Different crop species and varieties require different minerals, soils and amounts of water to thrive in. Traditional farming techniques based on diversity, such as crop rotation, ensure that the soil has time to regenerate and maintain health over time. Diverse crops and land use also attracts and sustains a variety of pollinators that contribute to the production of over 80% of crops traded on the world market (Klein et al, 2007). It also provides conditions for natural pest predators that help farmers save on insecticide costs, such as ladybeetles that eat cotton aphids – valued at US$4.96 saved for every additional ladybeetle per 100 cotton plants according to a study in China (Zhou et al, 2013).