Sixth Mass Extinction Is A Major Threat To World Food Supply

As reported by Futurism, there is a new report from Bioversity International that says the global agrobiodiversity is under a major threat due to sixth mass extinction. The report further says that this factor has been getting less attention than the other extinction issues. This problem is posing a threat to the already endangered wild animals at the same time endangering food supply.

The Problem

“Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention,” Bioversity International director general Ann Tutwiler told The Guardian. “If there is one thing we cannot allow to become extinct, it is the species that provide the food that sustains each and every one of the seven billion people on our planet.”

“[Agrobiodiversity] can also help solve or mitigate many challenges the world is facing. It has a critical yet overlooked role in helping us improve global nutrition, reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to climate change,” he added. 12 crops and five animal species is what form’s the 75% of world food supply and according to this new report, the investment in high-yielding starchy staples has resulted in only three which is maize, wheat and rice. This situation arose even when between 5000 and 70,000 species are fit for human consumption.

What happens with this scanty agrobiodiversity is that the limited crops become vulnerable to pests and diseases that can move fast through monoculture regions. This is something that had happened during the Irish potato famine wherein about a million people had starved to death. Amongst other threats lurking around are climate change and carbon emissions which will further cut down these scanty crops as the population continues to grow.