The current trend of rapidly decreasing agricultural biodiversity can probably best be said to have started in the 1960s and ’70s, when industrialized agriculture, reliant on a few high-yielding crop varieties, was first introduced to the developing world on a massive scale. Previously, most peasant farming communities in developing countries relied on dozens or even hundreds of different varieties of plant crops, and many breeds of domestic animals, to feed themselves. The large-scale conversion to industrial agriculture, sometimes known as the “Green Revolution” replaced these diverse farms with large plantations intended to grow a single, very productive crop. Though highly efficient from an economic point of view, these single-variety plantations, or monocrops, have wiped out much of the traditional biodiversity in developing world agriculture.
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