Can biodiversity research change the future of agriculture

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A presentation by Pablo B. Eyzaguirre given at Bioversity International Rome HQ on 24 May 2011. A look at Bioversity’s unique role linking biodiversity, food security, resilience, livelihoods and culture.

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Can biodiversity research change the future of agriculture

  1. 1. “Can Biodiversity Research Change the Future of Agriculture? Lessons from Biocultural Landscapes”by Pablo B. EyzaguirreBioversity International Rome 24 May 20111<br />
  2. 2. Bioversity’s unique role linking biodiversity, food security, resilience, livelihoods and culture<br />
  3. 3. How did we get this far?<br /><ul><li>20 years of global research showing where and how rural communities s people use agricultural biodiversity to secure their livelihoods
  4. 4. 15 years of research to show how gender and local knowledge encodes and unlocks the knowledge and potential of agrobiodiversity to improve food security .
  5. 5. 10 years of research to show the value in economic and more recently in nutritional and health terms of agricultural biodiversity to the lives of the poor
  6. 6. 5 years of research on how farmers use biodiversity for resilience and productivity
  7. 7. 5 years of research on a global movement of bio-cultural custodians and innovators in key agrarian landscapes around the world </li></li></ul><li>Fruit trees in Central Asia<br />Farm fields: 24 main food crops <br />Date palm in North Africa<br />Homegardens (microecosystems)<br />Bananas in East Africa <br />Using diversity for pest/disease mgt.<br />
  8. 8. Research on agrobiodiversity custodians and bio-cultural landscapes<br /> Bolivia<br />Tajikistan<br />Kyrgyzstan<br /> Cuba<br />Sarawak Malaysia<br />
  9. 9. Tomatoes are grown everywhere, but only a few places cultivate diversity <br />There are approximately 7500 tomato varieties grown around the world. The map shows the global distribution of tomato output in 2005. The biggest producers are often not those with the greatest diversity. The food culture and diverse growing environments are where the diversity is found. <br />
  10. 10. Culture is the fast track for moving crops into new environments, finding new uses and values, enhancing genetic diversity of cultivars<br />. <br />Biocultural value and multiple uses of San Marzano tomatoes <br />Legend has it that the first tomato seeds came to San Marzano in the Bourbon Kingdom of Naples in 1770, as a gift from the Bourbon Viceroy of Peru The seeds were planted in the area of San Marzano at the base of Mount Vesuvius, whose rich volcanic soil, hot summers, culture of drying fruits and elaborating sauces created a unique biocultural pathway for new tomato diversity<br />
  11. 11. Chayote (Sechiumedule)<br />Chayote is native to Mesoamerica. Cultures in Asia have been successful in cultivating it as well. The main growing regions are Costa Rica and Veracruz, Mexico. Costa Rican chayotes are predominantly exported to the European Union whereas Veracruz is the main exporter of chayotes to the United States.<br />The chayote fruit is used in both raw and cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is usually handled like summer squash, it is generally lightly cooked to retain the crisp flavor. Raw chayote may be added to salads or salsas, and it is often marinated with lemon or lime juice. Whether raw or cooked, chayote is a good source of amino acids and vitamin C. The tubers of the plant are eaten as root vegetables., particularly in Southwest China. In addition, the shoots and leaves can be consumed, and they are often used in salads and stir fries, especially in Southeast Asia.<br /> Main distribution of Chayote<br />
  12. 12. Farmers’ selection characters and disease in cassava<br />
  13. 13. The diversity of bottle gourd in Kenya<br />Various landraces of L.siceraria (bottle gourd) fruits in Kenya. <br /> Seeds of cultivated species, L.siceraria.<br />
  14. 14. Findings<br />Origin<br />Diversity<br />Mutation<br />Hybridization<br />Diversifying selection<br />Maintenance<br />Stabilizing selection <br />Diversity maintained<br />
  15. 15. Culture and plant use can support each other: The Kanyika Kitete Museum works to conserve gourds (Lagenaria) and Kamba culture.<br />
  16. 16. Taro in Cuban home gardens<br />Minimal management under coffee and fruit trees<br />Careful management in boxes<br />
  17. 17. Local Yunnan taro types distinguished by corm formation,taste and cooking quality<br />
  18. 18. Intensive intercropping of taro in paddy, an efficient and profitable agronomic practice in Asia<br />
  19. 19. In extensive low-input agriculture taro also has a place, taro cultivars are grown in swiddens in Southeast Asian hillsides along with upland rice<br />
  20. 20. Preservation of food cultures that use all parts of the taro plant and taro in all its statuses from wild, ruderal cultivated and intensive production is key for the conservation of taro genetic diversity<br />Wild type taros are used and<br />valued for their stolons, made into pickle and also noted for medicinal properties.<br />
  21. 21. Taro flowers travelling to urban market on a bicycle to be sold and then stir fried<br />
  22. 22. A new approach to biodiversityand agriculture<br />More than 1.1 billion people living within the world’s 25 biodiversity ‘hotspot areas’ (Myers et al. 2000) – this includes people living in the 12% of the world’s land area that is under some form of protected area management. <br />CBD-COP10 Nagoya adopts a new target , 17% of world’s terrestrial surface under protected management beginning in 2011 <br />Biodiversity conservation includes development needs and community participation as integral elements of both ecosystem and conservation management strategies <br />Biodiversity conservation in partnership with agriculture to achieve conservation targets and Millennium Development Goals. How Agriculture is can support and depends upon Biodiversity is now top priority in biodiversity conservation agenda. UNEP, IUCN, IPBES, PECS, UNESCO-MAB <br />. <br />
  23. 23. The challenge we face: Biodiversity and feeding the world <br /><ul><li>Solving the problem with the same mentality that created them . Intensification through simplification and increased inputs .
  24. 24. Further simplification of production systems, crops and varieties, landscapes and food systems. No longer a viable option.
  25. 25. Instability in food prices, periodic health and food safety problems, growing demand for more diverse healthier locally sourced foods.
  26. 26. Can we put Bioversity’s vast body of research in a coherent context and at a scale where they present a global alternative to future extrapolations based on existing systems</li></li></ul><li>Two pathways for agrobiodiversity to contribute to global food security<br /><ul><li>Agrobiodiversity can be the source of inputs to address</li></ul>the problems arising from simplification of agriculture and depletion of the natural resource base. Other CGIAR centres have established Biodiversity research programmes for their mandated species and crops.<br /><ul><li>Agrobiodiversity in bio-cultural landscapes can be models for
  27. 27. innovation, and create new ways of producing food
  28. 28. linking to agriculture to consumers that promote healthier food and healthier agroecosystems
  29. 29. build on synergies among crop varieties, species and breeds, wild and cultivated spaces
  30. 30. foster a culture of renewed innovation and custodianship of bio-cultural diversity
  31. 31. embrace new demands by societies and consumers to know the diversity of their foods and support its future productivity </li></li></ul><li><ul><li> Bringing our research results to bear at the landscape scale
  32. 32. Linking food security, environment, culture, and markets
  33. 33. How significant is our target and our potential impact if we focus on small family farms practicing diversified bio-intensive agriculture?
  34. 34. How much can small family farms and agrobiodiversity contribute to global food security in 2050?.</li></li></ul><li>Current assumptions for achieving food security in 2050: <br /><ul><li>We will need to increase food production global food production by 70% to feed an additional 2.3 billion people (total 9.1 billion) in 2050
  35. 35. Population growth will be in developing countries that will need to double their production of food
  36. 36. the agricultural model to achieve this is increasing intensification and higher yielding crops and livestock systems.
  37. 37. Do agricultural systems and food system for future global food and nutrition security have to be the same as those that have generated instability, declining dietary quality, growing health and safety problems, and rapid depletion of the resource base?
  38. 38. Can agrobiodiversity provide a new model based on synergies among components that is linked to emerging movements on food culture, health, and territory? </li></li></ul><li>Some facts where the data are clear.<br /><ul><li>In 2009 US Dept of Agriculture data show the # of small family growing by 2% a year
  39. 39. US small farms < 27 acres produce 10 times the value in dollar terms per acre of output
  40. 40. US small farms have 3 times the number of trees than larger farms – inverse relationship between size and output.
  41. 41. Assumptions about the efficiency of large scale farming in the US and UK are being questioned.
  42. 42. Industrial agriculture in the UK generates £2.3 billion in annual costs that are borne by government and society. </li></li></ul><li>Developing country scenario <br /><ul><li> 3 billion people live in rural areas
  43. 43. 1.2 billion people practice low input traditional agriculture on small family farms
  44. 44. In Latin America 75 million farmers on small family farms averaging 1.8 hectares in size produce 41% of the food crops consumed locally
  45. 45. In Brazil, 85 % of food production is on family farms on 30% of the agricultural land producing 84% of the manioc and 67% of the beans consumed in the country.
  46. 46. In Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia the percentage contribution of small family farms to national food security is even higher. </li></li></ul><li>Biodiversity and intensification offood production<br />Bio-intensive Agriculture is a way to achieve long term synergies between production and conservation in ecosystems. There are important and opportune links to be made:<br />Ongoing process of crop domestication for adaptation and global food security as a good example.<br />Agricultural change and food systems can evolve rapidly and securely when linked to a food culture and a mozaic landscape <br />
  47. 47. <ul><li> Food security and resilience of agriculture will depend upon innovation and models from small farms that maximise the potential of biodiversity
  48. 48. Where can we find and scale out the new models for bio-intensification and increased resilience in agriculture?</li></li></ul><li>Changes in Biological and Cultural Diversity over Time<br />In regions across the world dramatic and rapid changes occur:<br /><ul><li>new species domesticated, introduced, and used
  49. 49. Cultural practices change rapidly to incorporate new practices and demographic changes, migrations
  50. 50. Human societies innovate adopt and make endogenise new biological and cultural introductions in a brief historical period </li></ul>Globally, cultures are threatened by<br /><ul><li> language loss,
  51. 51. demographic changes, poverty, and marginalisation
  52. 52. loss of access to and knowledge of traditional resources, territories, and landscapes
  53. 53. Biodiversity in food systems, agricultural systems and landscapes is diminishing, (conversion of land use, intensification, homogenisation)</li></li></ul><li>Human potential to maintain and innovate through bio-cultural diversity<br /><ul><li>Occurs in places where communities have resided and managed resources for livelihood security for generations
  54. 54. Where mosaic landscapes result from application of the unique cosmovison of the community to the land and its products
  55. 55. Where communities access and use wild and cultivated biodiversity to maintain their systems and increase flow between the cultivated and the wild.
  56. 56. Where food cultures and local food systems provide the potential for food sovereignty
  57. 57. Where local institutions and knowledge systems exist to embed, govern, and transmit the value and potential of their agricultural biodiversity and biocultural landscapes to young people and allies in conservation and development.</li></li></ul><li>Conservation and Innovation Value of Agrobiodiversity Landscapes under Bio-cultural Management <br />Association with protected area/threatened ecosystem <br />Education on biodiversity through generations<br />Maintenance and distribution of heirloom varieties<br />Geneflow from wild ecosystems to garden (Lorocco, Eggplant, Yams, Taros,Pepper, Fruit trees) and back <br />Fod security and food sovereignty, food cultures, dietary diversity, nutrition and health<br />Ecosystem services: soil enrichment, water retention, niche differentiation can increase productivity of total agroecosystem, pollinators, disease management.<br />
  58. 58. Farmers Develop and Adapt Crops to Niches in their Ecosystems<br />
  59. 59. Karen rotational farming system (northern Thailand)<br />
  60. 60. Cultural Adaptation to Difficult Environments Increases Biodiversity: Arab and Berber peoples in desert oases maintain drought resistant plant varieties and plant communities around a key species, the date palm(Phoenix dactilefera)<br />
  61. 61. Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation and Cuban Man and Biosphere Reserves: Bridging managed and natural landscapes <br /><ul><li>Restoring diversity and health to Cuban agrarian landscapes and food systems.
  62. 62. Supporting protected area management and conservation of agricultural biodiversity</li></li></ul><li>Cosmology and Rules<br />Transmission<br />Conservation<br />Innovation<br />Farming in the Guantanamo Man and Biosphere <br />
  63. 63. RestoringTropicalAgriculturethroughproductsfromBiosphereReserves<br />
  64. 64. Conservation and Use of Taro <br />
  65. 65. Whose food culture? Taking taro out of its bio-cultural landscape <br />Taro in Laiyang<br />China, intensive <br />cultivation of single<br />cultivar for export as<br />high-value product.<br />Not much diversity<br />for taro or people<br />
  66. 66. BIOSPHERE RESERVES, Centers of Crop Domestication and Crop Genetic Resources, and Innovation <br />Elaeisguineensis (var. drura) ; Bixagos MAB Reserve<br />Mangrove Rice (salt and flood tolerant)<br />Wild peanut, Arachisspp<br />MAB reserves Bolivia<br />Wild yam,Dioscorea,<br />MAB reserve W- burkina, Niger, Benin<br />Nuts and Fruit trees Juglans. Malus, Pyrus, Morus,<br />SaryChelek MAB Reserve<br />Kyrgyzstan<br />
  67. 67. Indicators to measure the resilience of social-ecological systems<br />
  68. 68. Bio-cultural research on agricultural innovation<br />Research on the unique agroecological knowledge of indigenous cultures (ethnoscience) places placed agriculture within a traditional society’s cosmovision of the natural world. Harold Conklin, Hanunoo Agriculture (1957) and the Ethnographic Atlas of Ifugao (1980)<br />Prof. Sadao Sakamoto’s work that linked culture to the evolution crop genepools in rice and tropical root crops. The glutinous starch trait in domestication and evolution of starchy staples. Kyoto University plant geneticist <br />Audrey Richards andElinorOrstrom: Institutions for food security and productive landscapes<br />
  69. 69. Kwaheri<br />

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