Throughout February, on CIRAD's Facebook page
31/01/2013 - Press release
Cultivating biodiversity in order to transform farming systems is the topic chosen by CIRAD this year for the Paris International Agricultural Show. A chance to recall the role of biodiversity in agricultural activities and innovation, and also in the farming systems of tomorrow. CIRAD will be at SIA 2013 from 23 February to 3 March, Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre (Hall 4, Aisle C, Stand 100).
Now that the way in which ecosystems function is changing and the major biological cycles are no longer able to supply sufficient services and renewable resources to satisfy our requirements, CIRAD suggests producing more biodiversity and cultivating it.
We know that certain plants repel insects while others attract them and draw them away from crops; hedges harbour useful animals; and crop straw and fallow provide fodder for herd animals, which in turn provide manure for fields, and so on.
All these natural mechanisms are supported by the diversity of the living world, or biodiversity. The task for research is to study those mechanisms, manage them more effectively and put them to good use, for the benefit of more sustainable farming systems and biodiversity maintenance.
This is the cornerstone of agriculture. To ensure food security for nine billion people by 2050, preserve resources and cope with new global issues, it is vital to rediscover and exploit the wealth of biodiversity. This is now urgent, because we will inevitably have to increase agricultural production, and biodiversity is currently in danger.
We thus need to produce more biodiversity and cultivate it if we are to develop new farming systems capable of taking up the challenge of providing enough food and guaranteeing the future of Man on Earth.
From fonio to coconut, through sorghum, taro, sweet potato, cocoa, etc, etc
Come and discover the amazing variety of these plant species...
This diversity is currently under-used by agriculture.
Just thirty species currently cover 95% of human requirements, and four of them (rice, wheat, maize and potato) cover 60%! The reasons for this loss of biodiversity include the replacement of local varieties with less genetically diverse modern commercial varieties.
Combining agricultural production and biodiversity management is one of the major challenges being tackled by CIRAD researchers.
Fonio, lychee and baobab honey, pineapple and vanilla jam, grapefruit marmalade and candied fruit, banana chips, cocoa liquor and more, washed down by bissap , an original hibiscus-based tea! The CIRAD stand will be heaven for gourmets.
"Who protects whom?" a game! Some plants repel insect pests, others attract them away from crops. Hedges are home to useful animals. Who repels whom? Who protects whom? Come and play "Who protects whom?" to understand how to use some species against others in agriculture… and use biodiversity to ensure environmentally friendly, sustainable production.
DNA, a molecule to be explored… DNA is the molecule shared by every living thing. It contains most of the information necessary for the growth and functioning of an organism. It is what supports heredity. Come and discover the history of this molecule and see it for yourself in the "genetics" area of the CIRAD stand.
a photo, a click, and you'll know all there is to know about a plant! In a world first, amateur or professional botanists can test the Pl@ntNet platform's new smartphone application, every day from 1 to 2:30 and 4:30 to 6 pm.
Three press conferences:
- Monday 25 February at 4 pm:
in a world first, the Pl@ntNet platform's new smartphone application,
which facilitates the compilation and exchange of, and access to, botanical information.
- Tuesday 26 February at 3:30 pm - What does "ecologically intensive" agriculture mean? Michel Griffon and Eric Orsenna.
- Saturday 2 March at 9:15 am: Quinoa, a future sown thousands of years ago.
Press contact: Sophie della Mussia
A conference by invitation only:
Conference-debates open to the general public:
- Sunday 24 February: 3 pm - Study of the surprising origins of sweet potato
- Tuesday 26 February: 10 am - Crop improvement: what is needed in response to global issues?
- Wednesday 27 February:
10 am: Farming systems of tomorrow: let's cultivate biodiversity now!
3 pm: Fruit trees in the Mediterranean, from field to plate: how much diversity is there?
- Thursday 28 February
10 am: Conserving agricultural biodiversity: pooling efforts to promote a new approach
3 pm: How to share biodiversity and its benefits
- Friday 1 March
10 am: Biodiversity in the field: fostering it so as to produce more and better…
3 pm: Labels that put the spotlight on biodiversity: what are the opportunities for southern countries? The case of rooibos, an endemic plant from South Africa
- Saturday 2 March
10 am: Quinoa, a future sown thousands of years ago
3 pm: The canopy in Laos. He walked in the treetops… to discover the fabulous variety of insects
- Sunday 3 March
10 am: From cocoa to vanilla, the amazing saga of tropical plants.
On the INRA stand (Hall 4, Aisle C, Stand 99):
- Monday 25 February, 10 am: Agro-ecological research
- Thursday 28 February, 10 am: Agroforestry
Contact : Nathalie Curiallet
As in previous years, a brochure will be available on the stand. This year's title is Cultivons la biodiversité (Let's cultivate biodiversity).