Project to address agricultural biodiversity
The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project, of which the World Agroforestry Centre is a partner, will further research and promote links across the globe between biodiversity and good nutrition.
An article on the Global Environment Facility (GEF) website reports that sustaining agricultural biodiversity – the diversity of crops and their wild relatives, trees, animals, microbes and other species – has the potential to improve food security.
The project which was announced at the 2012 World Nutrition Rio Congress also aims to “address the narrowing variety of people's diets, with nutritionally-poor processed foods dominating the dinner table,” says the article. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and will be coordinated by Bioversity International.
With US $35 million in funding, the project will research biodiversity's role in nutrition as well as provide information on the nutritional and health benefits of traditional food sources in the four countries where it will operate: Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey
It is hoped the results of the project will help in the development of policies that promote “biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of often-neglected and forgotten traditional foods, which are often more nutritious and better adapted to local environments, thus having less impact on ecosystems”.
The article goes on to look at several examples where research and promotion of traditional foods has improved diets and incomes of the farmers who produce them.