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Food Security in the New Millennium-I: The Role of Agricultural Biodiversity

Keywords: Agricultural biodiversity , crop production , food calories , food distribution , food distribution

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Abstract:

This paper describes the concept of agricultural biodiversity and its importance in present and future food security. Some facts and figures are being presented in order to apprise the reader about the state of agricultural biodiversity in this country and elsewhere. The term agricultural biodiversity has been elaborated at length with special reference to the type of biodiversity available in Pakistan. The importance of biodiversity has been discussed in relation to its role in value addition to commercial crops in the form of resistance against pests and diseases. Its contribution, to human foodstuff, removal of genetic vulnerability and food security has also been discussed in detail. How agro-biodiversity has been utilized in crop production programmes and how rapidly it is being eroded, has also been described. Emphasis has been made on the conservation (both in situ and ex situ) of sites rich in agro-biodiversity along with its characterization and utilization in order to enhance its present status and to create new biodiversity to meet the future demand of crop improvement especially for tolerance to abiotic stresses.

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