A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) study has pointed out that many of the animal and plant species vital for human sustenance are under threat of extinction.
The study titled 'State of the World's Biodiversity for Food And Agriculture' has stated that the world population expected to hit 10 billion by 2050 will be relying on a smaller number of plants for food production. Presently, nine of the 6000 species of plants that provide food account for 66% of the total production of crops. In livestock sector, 40 species account for the bulk of the global production of milk, poultry and eggs.The report warns about the alarming decline in crop diversity with only 200 plant species actively used in food production.
The study warns that decline in crop diversity can cause outbreaks of pests and diseases recalling the Irish Potato famine that occurred in 1840's. The major causes for decline in bio diversity are pollution, population growth, climate change, overexploitation and harvest. It is high time the policy makers worked on the some of the causes for decline in biodiversity and take steps to arrest the decline by promoting cultivation of more diverse varieties.