Biological Diversity: The Key to Feeding Humanity

By Monsanto

Planet Earth is not just home to us, but to millions of species, from plants and insects to large mammals. The varied life forms all around us are interdependent on each other in many ways. It is this variability that is known as Biodiversity.

If you walk into your garden and flip over a stone, you’ll find the ground below teeming with life. Each of these life forms contribute in their own significant way toward sustaining our ecology. They are key to our nutrition and survival as they integrate with our most vital industry – agriculture.

Farming and biodiversity are linked at the very roots. With an increasing need for sustainability and a growing demand for food, biodiversity is crucial to agriculture. Here are some of the key roles biodiversity plays in feeding mankind:

Mitigating Climate Change

Agriculture is heavily dependent on climatic conditions. Even minor variations in temperature and rainfall can destroy several hectares of crops. This is where biodiversity comes in.

It is through the symbiotic relationships shared between millions of species that preserves topsoil, prevents runoff of water and keeps levels of harmful gases in check.

Forests have an exceptionally important role to play in bringing together biodiversity to prevent climate change. Our forests are the largest oxygen factories we have and while they make up only 2% of earth’s surface, they are home to almost 50% of all living things on earth. All those species work together to help grow and preserve forests. It is through this collective effort that our planet’s climatic conditions are maintained at the optimum levels for us and our crops to thrive.

Learn more about how Modern Agriculture can help save our forests:
Enough Deforestation, let’s talk Afforestation

Improving nutrition

The key to a healthy life is balanced nutrition and biodiversity plays an important role here. A balanced plate consists of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and a whole host of other nutrients required by our bodies on a daily basis. Access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can help us consume these nutrients and keep us hale and hearty.

Enhancing soil quality

Each crop consumes different nutrients from the soil. Planting different crops on a farm allows the soil plenty of time to replenish nutrients and become fertile again before re-planting a crop. Planting cover crops can help farmers capture the otherwise harmful carbon dioxide from the air and sequester it into useful carbon in the soil which, in turn, promotes healthy growth of plants while further mitigating climate change.

Agriculture is extremely reliant on biodiversity for its ecological processes and the value it adds at every level of food production. Hence we must work towards conserving the rich biodiversity we have on our planet and the connected ecosystem it creates around us. This International Day for Biological Diversity, let us strive towards preserving variety to build a better society.

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