“Agricultural biodiversity is the result of both human and natural selection. And hence its conservation depends on proper management and sustainable use,” said Professor, Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, UAS-B, VC Farm, Mandya Dr H C Lohitashwa.
Addressing participants at a technical seminar on the topic “Modern agriculture and its effect on biodiversity,” at the two-day, organised by JSS College of Arts, Commerce and Science on Wednesday he said, “Biodiversity has enabled farming systems to evolve ever since agriculture was first developed some 10,000 years ago in regions across the world. Today worldwide there is a huge diversity of agricultural systems ranging from paddy field in Asia to dry land pastoral systems of Africa and hill farms in the mountains of South America. Biodiversity in simple terms is the source of plants and animals that form the basis of agriculture and the immense variety within each crop and livestock species. Thus, agro biodiversity is central to overall biodiversity.”
Agricultural biodiversity includes all components of biodiversity- at genetic, species and eco system levels that are relevant to food and agriculture. This supports the eco systems in which agriculture occurs. It includes crop and livestock species and varieties that breed within these and also includes components that support agricultural production, of the 27,000 species of higher plants, about 7,000 are used in agriculture,” he said.
“Approximately 30-40% of the earth’s surface is now under some sort of agricultural system. Although the green revolution was intended to intensify production in existing agricultural lands, it is estimated that 20% of the yield increases resulted in direct land conversion. In addition these increases in production that have been achieved through industrial agriculture that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels and agro chemicals further indirectly affecting biodiversity and a wide range of ecosystems,” he added.
Later Director- Technical green life science technologies Dr Vasantha Kumar Timkapur spoke on agriculture and environmental problems. Dr S Shankarappa, HOD of Commerce and Management, JSS College and others were present.
Prof Dr H C Lohitashwa of University of Agricultural Sciences-Bengaluru, delivered a talk as a part of the two-day national seminar on Sustainability in Agriculture: Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies Ahead, on Wednesday.