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Genetic diversity in agriculture Monitoring of habitat diversity

Genetic diversity in agriculture

Source: GettyImages

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been warning for many years that diversity in crops and livestock is being lost. "So what?" you might say. But preserving diversity safeguards the future: against climate change, for stable yields to feed the world's growing population. 

What about genetic diversity in fields, meadows, pastures and stables?

While the genetic diversity of livestock breeds is well recorded through regular monitoring - the number of breeds, population data and endangerment criteria are known - we know little about the genetic diversity of crops in cultivation. Similarly, little is known about honeybee genetic diversity or breeding activities. The module "genetic diversity" aims to fill these gaps. In the case of crop varieties in cultivation, the study will provide historical context over the last 100 years. Knowledge of genetic diversity is the starting point for decisions on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in agriculture and food.


Karina Klein
Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
Information and Coordination Centre for biological diversity