Global Crop Diversity on the Decline – U of T Research Shows

aerial shot of crops
A new study examining crops on large-scale farmland over more than 50 years shows crop diversity around the world is declining. The study was led by Assistant Professor Adam Martin from the University of Toronto. It looked at crop diversity around the world between 1961 and 2014.

Globally, four crops- soybeans, wheat, rice, and corn — occupy half of the world’s agricultural lands. Only 6 genotypes make up around 50% of all corn crops in North America.

The decline in global crop diversity makes agricultural production more vulnerable in a number of ways. Pests or diseases can do more widespread damage if there are only a handful of crops being grown. Regional food sovereignty is also reduced. Food Secure Canada defines food sovereignty as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.”

Take a look at what Assistant Professor Adam Martin has to say on crop diversity worldwide.

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