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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Publication | 30 March 2021

How to do: Mainstreaming NUS in national policy for nutrition outcomes

Agricultural biodiversity is a strategic asset to fight climate change vulnerability, poverty, and food and nutrition insecurity. The wealth of food crops is estimated at 5,000 species (Kew Royal Botanic Gardens 2016) but global food systems are increasingly dominated by just three crops—rice, maize, and wheat— which altogether make up more than 50% of human plant-based caloric intake and cover 40% of arable land globally (FAOSTAT 2013)1 . Modern agricultural practices, uniformity in agricultural markets, and changing lifestyles are causing the disappearance of crop diversity from production and food systems. The diversity of plant species gathered in the wild for food is also threatened due to degradation of natural habitats. Such a situation is having multiple impacts on peoples' livelihoods as cultivations are becoming more susceptible to climate change, farmer assets are being eroded, and consumers have fewer choices for nutritious and healthy diets.