biodiversity is defined as the variability and variety of plants, animals and
microorganisms that are used in agriculture and food. To specify it,
agricultural biodiversity can be expanded and categorized it into ecological
diversity, genetic diversity and organismal diversity. Agricultural is not only
a subset of biodiversity, somehow it embraces units and habitats that are
usually not accepted or recognized by some biologists as a part of biological
diversity. Agricultural biodiversity is the results of the interactions between
humans and natural ecosystem and brings beneficial to human health and
nutrition and able to provide humans with goods and services. It includes
species that are used directly and indirectly in food and agriculture and species
that are not included in the farming system. Diets, food intake, nutrition, and
ingredients for food preparation, cooking processing and storage are also one
of the elements of agricultural biodiversity. Besides, agricultural
biodiversity also includes physical, social, cultural, ethical, spiritual elements
and elements that benefits and harms the crops, food production, and ecosystem.
For instance, pollination is one of the elements that can bring beneficial not only
to food production but ecosystem. Likewise, pests and diseases are few of the elements
of agricultural biodiversity that affect crops adversely.
The number of
plant species and animal species that were successfully domesticated has been
decreased across the centuries due to the simplification of agriculture also
known as agricultural revolution. The ease of cultivation, the nutrition that
the species able to produce and the species that are able to be grown in a particular
habitat are the reasons of the simplification of agriculture. Over the
centuries, natural selection and artificial selection have developed a complex
diversity of local varieties or landraces. Due to the difference of external
conditions in such soil type, weather, climate, landraces or primitive
cultivars have their own adaptation, and characteristics such as nutritional value,
use and date of maturity.
simplification of agriculture has caused some controversies. Researchers suggested
that it reduces human’s dietary diversity due to intensification of agriculture.
It brings adverse effect on human health due to human only rely on tiny number
of crop species for instance the staples, which are mainly barley, wheat rice,
millet, etc. and might cause malnutrition and has higher chance of getting
infection by diseases. However, some researchers suggested that by growing such
crops, others can concentrate on finding other nutrients, and so they can have
balance nutrition. In short, it cannot be denied that the intensification of
agriculture has sustained human population growth.
agriculture is mainly caused by modern intensive agriculture, while others are
small-scale agriculture and other various forms of traditional agriculture,
home gardens. However, the substitution of landraces by more advanced cultivars
has caused genetic erosion of the crop species, loss of landraces.