The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future has published a new paper in its Issues in Brief series. The paper, titled “Agricultural Diversity Across Scales: Key to Building a Resilient Global Food System,” was written by John Patrick Casellas Connors, a Pardee Center post-doctoral associate from 2015-2018 and currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University.
Over the past century, changes in agricultural production and food distribution networks have supported a rapidly growing human population and contributed to improvements in global food security. However, crop diversity has decreased dramatically, with just 74 crops now providing more than 90 percent of the world’s calories. Fewer countries and companies control an ever-increasing share of food production systems, and the genetic diversity of the world’s crops is eroding. In this Issues in Brief, Connors explores the new shared vulnerabilities resulting from the ongoing transformation of the global food system and discusses the role of diversity in supporting food security across scales, particularly in the context of global climate change.