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Is agricultural biodiversity another way out for global food crisis?
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Another possible way out for coping with the global food crisis is stressed on Wednesday amid United Nation (UN) sets "Biodiversity and Agriculture" as theme of the International Day of Biological Diversity (IBD) this year.

"The protection of the world's biodiversity is essential to the world's food supply," said Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The food prices have been rocketing for the past two years due to the tight supplies all over the world, and food costs are currently on average more than two and a half times higher compared to that in early 2002, with no signs of relief in sight.

"We chose this specific theme this year in order to stress the need to properly protect and manage the world's biodiversity so as to ensure a secure supply of food for a growing world population," said the CBD executive secretary.

His remarks are clearly supported by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who sent his message to IBD earlier, saying "of the 7,000 species of plants that have been domesticated over the 10,000-year history of agriculture, only 30 accoun t for the vast majority of the food we eat every day. Relying on so few species for sustenance is a losing strategy."

What is agricultural biodiversity

"From the perspective of facing the food crisis, developing agriculture biodiversity means un derstanding the diversity of highly nutritious traditional food system," said Dr. Joseph Jojo Baidu-Forson, regional director of sub-Saharan Africa, Biodiversity International.

"In fact, we do have diversified sources of food, which could be excellent complementary food to the three major staples, namely, rice, wheat and maize," said Baidu-Forson.

Economic and cultural changes have led to declining attention to the traditional food resources and knowledge, as urbanization, globalization and commercialization hastened the introduction of international "fast" food and cultures.

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