Feb 18, 2014 - Is biodiverse agriculture an anachronism? Or is it a vital part of a food-secure future? Given the need to feed an estimated 2.4 billion more people by the year 2050, the drive toward large-scale, single-crop farming around the world may seem inexorable.
But there's an important downside to this trend, argues Timothy Johns, Professor of Human Nutrition at McGill University in Montreal, in a paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
Diets for most people around the world are becoming increasingly limited in biological and nutritional diversity. "Large-scale agriculture is characteristically simplified and less diverse than small-holder agriculture," Prof. Johns cautions. "This is true in genetic, ecological and nutritional terms."