May 252017

The term crop plant biodiversity  used to describe biological diversity  of any crop plant, either growing  today or previously collected. This  biodiversity has traits such as disease  resistance and heat tolerance  built in a period of over thousands  of years. Farmers, across the world,  have evolved a diverse array of  food crops based on these traits.  Plant breeders have used these genetic  resources for decades to  breed food crops more resilient to  shocks and stress, ensuring food  and nutritional security for evergrowing  numbers of people.  According to some media reports,  global plant and animal biodiversity  declined 50 percent between  1990 and 2007, twice as  much in tropical regions. This calls  for immediate action to ensure  food and nutritional security for future  generations. This biodiversity  can then be used to breed food  crops that are resistant to pests,  diseases and drought, enabling  farmers to use less fungisides, insecticides  or water on their farms,  thus reducing their effect on the  environment. In view of the above,  there is astrong need to use all the  possible tools to make the world  free from hunger. A major tool for  alleviating hunger is sadly not getting  the world’s attention and that  is crop plant biodiversity.  Khan Faraz  Peshawar     

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