By Peter Mutai NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The volume of food production of pollinator
dependent crops is set to reduce following the extinction of a
number of pollinator species globally, a scientist has revealed.
Potts from the University of Reading said on Wednesday that the
pollinator’s demise is a big threat to millions of livelihoods
and billions of dollars worth of food supplies.
“The 75 percent of
the world’s food crops that depend on pollination by insects and
other animals are getting extinct hence affecting the economic
base of most economies especially in the developing world,”
Potts said during a side event at the UN Environmental Assembly
(UNEA) in Nairobi.
He attributed the
loss to human activity such as destruction of habitats for
agriculture, over use of fertilizers and mushrooming of houses
in urban centers that calls for the demand of housing.
Potts noted that the
pollinators are further threatened by the decline of practices
based on indigenous and local knowledge.
The practices, he
said include traditional farming systems, maintenance of diverse
landscapes and gardens, kinship relationship that protects
specific pollinators and cultures and languages that are
connected to pollinators.
“The food production
is currently reducing at a high rate and the trend if not
checked is likely to cause food shortage globally,” he added.
Potts called on the
governments to put in place long term international and regional
monitoring strategies and help create awareness to reverse the
He revealed that the
developing world is disadvantaged from the fact that they lack
past studies as opposed to Europe and North America where a lot
of literature exist.
According to the
International Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES), pollinators are economically,
socially and culturally important.
IPBES said that the
more than 20,000 species of wild bees plus many species of
butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetle, birds, bats and other
animals are at risk.
important contributors to world food production and nutritional
security,” IPBES Co- Chair Professor Vera Lucia said.
She noted that
pollinated crops like fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils
are like to demise hence the increase of malnutrition in the
Potts observed that
more than three quarters of the world’s food crops rely at least
in part on pollination by insects and other animals.
He said that
pollinators, besides playing a role in food production, have
also helped in art, music, religion and technology.
“It is unfortunate
that an estimated 16 percent of the vertebrate pollinators are
threatened with global extinction,” he added.
Potts noted that
genetically modified crops reduce the availability of weeds
which supply food for pollinators.
He noted that
climate change is also leading to changes in the distribution of
many pollinating bumblebees and butterflies and the plants that
depend on them.
“Long term international and national monitoring of both
pollinators and pollination is urgently required to provide
information on status and trends for most species and in most
parts of the world,” Potts said.