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The impact of HIV/AIDS is usually considered in terms of health costs and losses of skilled labour.

But its impact on the agricultural sector, particularly in Africa, is having a devastating effect on food security — partly because many people in rural areas are too ill to work, and also because, as generations die off prematurely, they cannot pass on what they know about crops and wild plants.

However, the roles of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge in sustaining the agriculture of Africa’s poor people have often been neglected in the agricultural and rural development sector.

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