According to a new report presented by the Italian research center Bioversity International, the most developed countries have a great variety of foods in their diets, but they have made little progress in the sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity.
The research has analyzed the way in which the various countries preserve or use their biological diversity in order to improve their diets, their markets and their production in order to have sustainable food systems. According to the director general of Bioversity, Juan Lucas Restrepo, "a lower agrobiodiversity puts countries at risk in the face of the few options for cultivation, climate change, malnutrition, pests and diseases."
Italy, Peru and Australia lead the ranking for the current state of their agricultural biodiversity, while the greatest progress has been made in India, Kenya and South Africa, after making promises or launching actions to preserve those resources and use them in a sustainable manner.
Biodiversity vs. quality
In general, in developed countries, the quality of diets is higher, with a greater supply of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and non-basic crops accounting for a considerable share of the calories.
The United States and Australia show "a great agricultural tradition" that facilitates the preservation of species in the field or in seed banks, but "they are not doing as well" when measuring their progress in terms of the sustainability of their agriculture, according to Restrepo.
Emerging countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya or India are making more progress in the actions launched to take advantage of agricultural biodiversity in order to achieve better nutrition, although they don't score as well when their current situation is evaluated, given the functioning of the markets and the lower quality consumption. .
A paradoxical case is that of Peru, which obtains a "very good status rating," because it has an important indigenous population and a huge biological diversity, as well as a culinary tradition that uses local ingredients and strives to protect the native crops.
Restrepo hopes to be able to add new countries to the index to verify their commitments. By the end of the year, it also wants to have a first evaluation prototype for companies, since "their performance determines how well or how badly the countries are doing."