What (and who) does

agrobiodiversity

look like?

The Food, Agrobiodiversity, Clarity and Transparency (FACT) Accelerator developed ten principles that explain the benefits of enhancing agrobiodiversity.

Successfully integrating and expanding biodiversity in food systems requires upholding ten basic principles that support climate-friendly, regenerative, and biodiverse farming practices, responsible and effective food businesses, healthy diets, and ensure fair benefit-sharing with producers and communities.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Promote healthy soils. When farmers follow regenerative practices, which includes planting a range of diverse crops, they build soil organic matter, safeguard their water supplies, protect and restore the environment, and improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Adapt to climate change. Nearly half of all human-generated agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are produced by industrial agriculture.

Industrial food production is dependent on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and petroleum-reliant farm technologies, while crops that have grown in a region for hundreds, if not thousands, of years are well-adapted to their environments and often require fewer inputs.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Promote nutrient security. Throughout the world, food has traditionally provided nutrition and medicinal remedies.

In many rural areas today, people now rely on ultra-processed food primarily produced from four “major” crops (wheat, corn, rice and soybean). This energy rich, low nutrient diet lacks diversity and often leads to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Increasing diversity in local food production improves health outcomes and provides consumers with greater food security.

Enhance livelihoods for women. Women in many regions play a primary role in producing and preparing food for their families, and can also be powerful entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders.

Commodity crops often require heavy equipment designed for use by men, but when production returns to more diverse crops, women have greater opportunities to perform farm work as well as produce value added goods that support livelihoods across the value chain.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Ensure Knowledge Sharing. The extensive, place-based practices used in diversified farming systems creates opportunities for cooperation and knowledge-sharing among farmers and within communities.

Sharing knowledge keeps traditional farming practices alive; by planting traditionally diverse, bio-regionally adapted crops, farmers protect their cultural and natural resources while increasing their resilience to climate change.

Uphold Resilient Land Use Practices. Support practices that safeguard the environment, preserve open space, secure land tenure, and protect wildlife.
To increase agrobiodiversity and its food system benefits, societies and farmers need to develop effective land use practices and policies to avoid conversion of forested land or land that is unsuited for agriculture, prevent and decrease the predominance of large-scale monoculture farming systems, and promote the increase of diversified cropping systems and other sustainable regenerative production methods.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Create Opportunities Across the Value Chain. Food grown for local communities can stimulate development and create value added products that support local economies.
Growing more diverse crops provides entrepreneurs with opportunities to create value-added products that provide jobs and stimulate local economies. New economic opportunities also help build skills and knowledge for food preparation, processing and the marketing of more innovative products.
Conserve genetic and natural resources. A key aspect of increasing agrobiodiversity is the conservation and stewardship of seeds and germplasm.

Growers can establish seed banks and other conservation practices to safeguard the genetic heritage of their crops for generations to come. In situ and ex situ seed conservation also provides farmers with greater food sovereignty and helps strengthen food traditions in their communities.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Empower young farmers. By creating new business opportunities and strengthening communities, agrobiodiversity-based food systems can empower a new generation of farmers and food entrepreneurs.
In most regions of the world, the average age of farmers is nearly 60. A food production system founded on diversity, education and knowledge-sharing can provide youth with the tools to be decision makers in their communities and to gain better working opportunities across the whole supply chain.
Protect indigenous and local cultures. When people lose their native foods, they also lose their culture. In returning to indigenous, more diverse foods, communities rediscover not only their traditions, but themselves.
Cultures are often defined not only by what they grow, but by the variety of foods they eat. Chefs—both in the home and in restaurants—can play an important role in expanding our knowledge of the culinary traditions agrobiodiversity represents, while also bringing global visibility and markets to these ingredients.

[Swipe to view the lexicon.]

Join a bold, new online community for anyone who cares about building more resilient, inclusive food systems.

Contact us

Please share your comments and questions and get a response from a real person!