Introduction of new improved varieties (agro-biodiversity)

Agro-biodiversity is “the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, breeds) and species used for food, fodder, fiber, fuel and pharmaceuticals. It also includes the diversity of non-harvested species that support production (soil micro-organisms, predators, pollinators), and those in the wider environment that support agro-ecosystems (agricultural, pastoral, forest and aquatic) as well as the diversity of the agro-ecosystems” (FAO, 1999a). New improved varieties are introduced for three main reasons:

  • Better productivity leading to better income. The root cause is economic profit.
  • Improved tolerance to biotic/ abiotic stress therefore aiding food security.
  • Absence of incentives to keep local varieties of fauna and flora which root cause is the lack of awareness.

New introduced varieties replace local trade varieties and can be difficult to control. Those new species can cause reduced propagation of native biodiversity and the gene pool may eventually be affected and reduced.