Collecting, conserving, and deploying agrobiodiversity to support dryland communities
Agrobiodiversity is the genetic variety and variability of animals, plants, and micro-organisms that are used for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries. It encompasses the diversity of genetic resources that ICARDA depends on to create new resilient varieties and design and implement breeding schemes that produce more resilient and productive animals (sheep, goats, and camels), as well as cereals, food legumes and forage It also includes the diversity of companion species that improve crop yields and production such as soil micro-organisms, predators and pollinators.
Yet the global pool of biological diversity is diminishing every day because of the effects of human activity. There is no doubt that, unless the current trend is reversed, there will be serious challenges for future food security as we become limited by a lack of genetic variation that allows us to improve crop varieties and livestock populations in the face of global challenges.
On International Biological Diversity Day, we talk about our work to collect, conserve, and deploy agrobiodiversity to support communities all over the world.