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Agriculture biodiversity and food security: two sides of a coin

25 / 08 / 2011, Eldis Biodiversity

This research paper explains the relationship between food production and agricultural biodiversity, and analyses the impact of indiscriminate loss of agricultural biodiversity on food security.Bangladesh has been suffering from food shortage for its 150 million people, though it has favourable climatic conditions to produce highly productive native crop varieties. The study condemns two major reasons for this food crisis in agrarian Bangladesh - the lack of proper use of agriculture biodiversity, and the practice of modern agriculture systems that are based on hybrid seeds, chemical fertilisers, and pesticides without paying much attention to the native varieties.The paper also blames the callousness of incumbent political regimes and obsolete agricultural tradition as the obstacles to achieve food sufficiency. Political decisions regulate the agro-sector in Bangladesh. After independence, most of the governments took attempts to gain self-sufficiency in food production. However, their short-sighted planning or narrow political interests hastened the loss of biodiversity. As one of the signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Bangladesh is committed to conserving its biological diversity. Regrettably, no special attention has so far been given in the budgetary allocation to conserve and use its unique agricultural biodiversity.In conclusion the paper recommends some policies to maintain smooth food production and ensure food security. Replacing current mechanized agricultural production systems with sustainable production methods such as mixed farming systems and organic agriculture are highly encouraged for this purpose.

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