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Agriculture: Biodiversity and Monoculture
Transcript of Agriculture: Biodiversity and Monoculture
Threats Monoculture Why is it Important? Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop or plant species over a wide area and for a large number of consecutive years. It is widely used in modern industrial agriculture and its implementation has allowed for large harvests from minimal labor. Monocultures are large areas of land cultivated with a single crop, using methods that imply a high use of inputs such as agrotoxic chemicals and machinery. What Needs to be Done? - assessing the status and trends of the world’s agricultural biodiversity, the underlying causes of change, and knowledge of management practices;
- identifying adaptive management techniques, practices and policies;
building capacity, increasing awareness and promoting responsible action; and
- mainstreaming national plans and strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity into relevant agriculture sectors. Problem #2 Problem #3 The Earth’s biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate, putting in jeopardy the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services and their ability to adapt to changing conditions, threatening food and livelihoods security. The major challenge for agriculture is to ensure food security, adequate nutrition and stable livelihoods for all, now and in the future, by increasing food production while adopting sustainable and efficient agriculture, sustainable consumption of resources, and landscape-level planning to ensure the preservation of biodiversity. Problem #1: Biodiversity is the outcome of the interactions among genetic resources, the environment and the management systems and practices used by farmers. Why is it Important? What is it used for? ^ Genetic resource for food and agriculture
^ Provides raw material for clothing , shelter, medicines, breeding new varieties
^ Maintenance of soil fertility, and soil and water conservation
All of which are essential to Plant genetic resources, including crops, wild plants harvested and managed for food, trees on farms, pasture and rangeland species,
Animal genetic resources, including domesticated animals, wild animals hunted for food, wild and farmed fish and other aquatic organisms.
^ Ensure the production of food, fibre, fuel, fodder...
Maintain other ecosystem services
Allow adaptation to changing conditions - including climate change
And sustain rural peoples' livelihoods one of the greatest causes of agricultural biodiversity loss, through genetic erosion and the increasing levels of genetic vulnerability of specialized crops and livestock. According to the FAO, it is estimated that about three-quarters of the genetic diversity found in agricultural crops has been lost over the last century, and this genetic erosion continues. modern agricultural practices can also impact biodiversity in other ecosystems through several ways such as unsustainable demands on water (for irrigation for example), overgrazing, as well as excessive use of nutrients and chemical inputs to control weeds, pests and diseases that result in problems of pollution. It is widely used in modern industrial agriculture and its implementation has allowed for large harvests from minimal labor. However, monocultures can lead to the quicker spread of diseases, where a uniform crop is susceptible to a pathogen. Benefits and Advantages
Reduced plant competition for nutrients, space and solar radiation
Control of undesirable (unprofitable) organisms
Reduction of costs by limitation of specialized machinery required for arable operations
Maximize profit from the growing of high gross margin crops Disadvantages Farmers have to pay closer attention to soil erosion.
Soil structure problems become severe.
The farmer is completely dependent on chemical insecticides and similar methods of controling insects and diseases.