How Can the Lack of Crop Diversity Affect the World?
- A more fertile soil
- Genetic differences (which may result to super genes that can confer early maturity, provide higher yield and resist all types of diseases)
- Variety of nutrients
However, recently, there are reports saying that there’s a lack of crop diversity in the world.
An organic farming blog reports that climate change is seriously affecting the crop diversity. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation, the genetic diversity of the plant people grow and eat could be gone forever due to the drastic transformations happening in the world’s climate.
This loss will have a huge impact on humankind, especially its ability to feed the coming generation, says the Rome-based organization. The global population is predicted to rise by nine billion in 2050 and the decreasing number of crop diversity will not be able to provide food for that number of people.
According to worldwide records, 75% of crop diversity were gone between 1900s and 2000s. Since then, several concerned organizations have been asking people to conserve and use the cultivated plants.
Among the numerous endangered species of diversified crops are the wild relatives. There are about 6% of cereal crops (such as wheat, rice, sorghum and maize), 18% of legume species (like peas, beans and lentils), and 13% of botanical species (including pepper, eggplant, tomato, and potato) are becoming instinct nowadays.
This is unfortunate because crop diversity has several benefits for the environment. It can resist pests and diseases. Plants with ability to resist drought can help conserve water by reducing the necessity for irrigation. Those varieties which have deeper roots can stabilize several soils. With crop diversity, there is no need to cut down forests in order to make more farmland, and farmers don’t need to use fertilizers which will just increase several health risks around the globe.
Aside from these environmental reasons, crop diversity can also help the economy. An organic farming blogreports that agricultural growth can provide affordable foods most especially in poor rural areas.
However, the lack of crop diversity did not stop some farm experts to develop more diversified crops. In recent studies, it has been discovered that there are 50% growth in crop yields from new seed variations. An organic farming blog named the achievement of New Rice for Africa as a huge factor in that 50% growth. This group is developing new varieties of rice which are suited for dry lands like that of African countries.