Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Crop diversity

16 May 2017

This website published by The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), presents interactive visual information and statistics on how food supplies around the world have changed in the past 50 years. 

Photo: Gralbeard, TomatoesRootSystem1-SouthGardenBed, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
8 May 2017

This research brings together data from 389 field trials to determine how the root and shoot biomass, and carbon (C) stocks of major crops correlate to soil C in different environmental conditions. The analysis found all crops allocated more C to their shoots than roots. The greatest C allocation to roots was in grasses (which also had the highest plant biomass production).

Photo: djfrantic, Bees on our Boysenberries, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

This paper in Biological Conservation argues that the role of pesticides in driving biodiversity loss deserves renewed emphasis, quantification and amelioration. The authors present their views on how conservationists should support integrated approaches, for sustainable agriculture and rural development planning, that simultaneously address food security, pesticide use and biodiversity conservation.

Photo: Connie, polyculture, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 April 2017

This paper, taken from an inaugural edition on planetary health in the Lancet, analyses global food and nutrient production and diversity by farm size, providing evidence on how smallholder farmers contribute to the quantity and quality of our global food supply and discussing the structural impacts of agriculture on nutrient availability.

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Wetlands in Croplands, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
28 September 2016

In this modelling study, the authors examine potential trade-offs between sufficient food provisioning in the future and sustaining biodiversity. On the one hand they find that cropland expansion increases food security, particularly in areas which are currently struggling with access to safe and nutritious food.

Photo: Fes Medina, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
31 August 2016

As agricultural production of high-yielding cereals has increased over the past half-century, production of more nutrient-rich cereals has declined. Access to food of high nutritional quality is profoundly important, especially for the 2 to 3 billion people who are undernourished, overweight, or obese or deficient in micronutrients.

Photo, Suzette, Visiting an organic farm, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

Alternative cropping systems such as organic or conservation agriculture are often expected to lead to enhanced soil carbon storage as compared with conventional systems, and therefore to hold potential to contribute to climate change mitigation via carbon sequestration.

18 February 2015

As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders - workers of less than three to seven acres - with the rest in gene banks.

2 October 2014

The European Commission was due to publish a Communication on Sustainable Food in 2013 to “assess how best to limit waste throughout the food supply chain, and consider ways to lower the environmental impact of food production and consumption patterns”.  This long-awaited Communication has still not been published.

25 September 2014

This paper in the journal Food Security analyses the genetically modified (GM) seed industry. The paper states that since many scientists, policymakers and citizens are calling for sustainable intensification of global agriculture (providing high yields and incomes without adverse environmental impacts) it is crucial to discuss the important role of the seed sector in such plans. The paper “Taking Stock of the Genetically Modified Seed Sector Worldwide: Market, Stakeholders, and Prices” assembles comprehensive data on the contemporary GM seed industry and its importance within the seed sector as a whole.