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Friday, 27 October 2017

New EU funded index to help investors gauge food diversity

An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change. Investing in food species such as drought-tolerant Ethiopian durum wheat or the frost-resistant Andean grain canahua can make food supply chains more resistant to climate shocks, according to research published on Tuesday by Bioversity International. Pre-agricultural societies used about 7,000 edible plant species but modern food systems rely on just 30 varieties to feed the world, and the most common crops make up just 2 percent of material stored in gene banks. Reliance on just a handful of species increases the risk of supply shocks as droughts, rising temperatures and unpredictable weather events become more common, according to the study by Bioversity International, a global research organization. Its new research will form the basis of the European Commission-funded Agrobiodiversity Index, which is expected to be launched in late 2018 and will include concrete criteria for measuring progress toward greater agrobiodiversity.

Source: Reuters