Increasing demand for nutritious, safe, and healthy food because of a
growing population, and the pledge to maintain biodiversity and other
resources, pose a major challenge to agriculture that is already
threatened by a changing climate. Diverse and healthy diets, largely
based on plant-derived food, may reduce diet-related illnesses.
Investments in plant sciences will be necessary to design diverse
cropping systems balancing productivity, sustainability, and nutritional
quality. Cultivar diversity and nutritional quality are crucial. We
call for better cooperation between food and medical scientists, food
sector industries, breeders, and farmers to develop diversified and
nutritious cultivars that reduce soil degradation and dependence on
external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, and to increase
adaptation to climate change and resistance to emerging pests.