This report describes the study of the potential effects of climate change on world food supply. The research involved estimating the responses of crop yields to greenhouse gas-induced climate change scenarios and then simulating the economic consequences of these potential changes in crop yields. The analysis provides estimates of changes in terms of production and prices of major food crops and the number of people at risk of hunger.
Despite many dire predictions to the contrary, the world continues to grow food at a rate that exceeds the rate of population growth. While rising per capita food production is no guarantee that hunger can be staved off, it would appear that hunger and malnutrition are actually on the decline.
It is a fact, however, that the absolute number of malnourished children continues to increase, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The enormity of malnutrition in South Asia – which is the home of nearly three quarters of the world’s undernourished children – would seem to be in conflict with the fact that food production in this region has expanded remarkably during the last two decades. Of all the regions of the Developing World, South Asia is outstripped only by East Asia in terms of the growth in per capita food production. In spite of this, South Asia’s record in reducing malnutrition is one of the world’s worst.
One billion people live on less than $1 a day, the threshold defined by the international community as constituting extreme poverty, below which survival is questionable. That number encompasses a multitude of people living in varying degrees of poverty—all of them poor, but some even more desperately poor than others. To better answer the question of whether the very poorest are being reached, we first divided the population living on less than $1 a day into three categories according to the depth of their poverty.
It has taken nearly eight years for the member countries in ISAF, and International Aid donors, to realize just how critical Afghanistan’s agricultural sector is to many of its people. Food security and distribution is also a major problem and both are sources of vulnerability for the Afghanistan given its 30 year history of violence and given the scale of Taliban and insurgent operations. Moreover, both agriculture and food distribution are caught up in the problems raised by Afghan dependence on opium cultivation, extortion and corruption in aid and transport operations at every level, and manipulation by national and local power brokers.
In response to the severity of the food crisis and the need for prompt action, the World Bank Group set up the Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) in May 2008 to provide immediate relief to countries hard hit by food high prices. The Bank response has been articulated in coordination with the United Nations’ High-Level Task Force (HLTF) on food security. Through its response, the Bank is supporting the implementation of the joint Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA).
With climate change dominating international environment forums in recent years, the issue of maintaining biodiversity tends to be overlooked. Yet, as CIFOR scientist Terry Sunderland points out, the role biodiversity plays in food security and ecosystems means it should be placed firmly back on the global agenda.
In view of the potential adverse effects of climate change on agriculture, which further excerbates poverty and constrains economic development in Africa, the African Development Bank is increasing its efforts to support its Regional Member Countries in addressing these issues.
Through its agriculture sector strategy the Bank aims primarily at contributing to the broader development objectives of greater agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction by: (i) improving rural infrastructure, including water management and storage, and trade-related capacities for access to local and regional markets; and (ii) improve the resilience of the natural resource base, and thereby protect investments.
Gender dimensions in biodiversity management and food security: policy and programme strategies for AsiaPosted on: 7 April 2010 - 10:56am
A report of the proceedings of the FAO technical consultation on the above theme, which was jointly organized with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India from 2 to 5 November 1999. Women are the main farm producers and keepers of plant genetic wealth - food crops, medicinal plants and forest produce - in Asia-Pacific countries. But their contribution is not adequately recognised in biodiversity management and agriculture policies and plans.
Women’s traditional roles such as collecting water, fuel and fodder, raising small livestock or growing food are particularly crucial in drylands in terms of natural resource management and food security. Men have usually been responsible for decision-making and planning of farming activities, but they increasingly leave the degraded areas to look for jobs in urban areas, leaving women to assume new roles and responsibilities on the farm.
With rising population and demand, expansion of supplies to maintain food security has emerged as a priority concern for developing countries in Asia. What are the available options for meeting the rising demand and improving livelihoods from fish production?