THE EDITOR: In the field of crop and livestock production, agricultural biodiversity can be defined as the diversity of crops and their close associates in the ecosystem, such as animals, microbes, trees and other types of organisms that holistically contribute to agricultural crop production.
Food production systems based on the sustainable use of biodiversity and traditional knowledge have the ultimate potential to provide economic food and nutrition security to support a continuously growing population.
It has been clearly seen that agricultural biodiversity has not only provided food and income but also provides a wide array of raw materials for clothing, shelter and medicines, and even creates new crop varieties that are resistant to diseases, pests and constant climate change. Biodiversity supports the livelihood of food producers while reducing negative impacts on the environment. The changing consumption patterns of the growing population is a major contributor to biodiversity on a large scale.
The Government has the potential to provide farmers with subsidies and grants to allow agricultural biodiversity to take place by expanding production systems, thereby encouraging growth and overall food security. The grants can be utilised in the cultivation and development of agricultural commodities that are of a superior quality from farm to table and meets the demands of consumers.
All production systems in the agricultural sector of TT support the idea of increasing biodiversity by producing different types of crops on arable land in remote and urbanised areas.
Generations of farmers and agriculturalists have converted the wild ancestors of our food plants into production varieties that feed the world today. Investment in the world of agriculture are the best weapons against hunger, poverty and famine and has been known to improve the standard of living of billions of people on a global scale. Agricultural biodiversity starts in the distant past and points toward the future.
SHASTRI HANS BADAL