Some facts From Recently released Reports of Food and Agriculture Organization

As per a UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO (Headquarters -Rome, Established October 16, 1945, member 191) discussion paper published recently, climate change will have a severe impact on food security and this could lead to increased dependency of many developing countries on food imports. Some facts:
  • The worst affected countries will be countries that have low incomes and a high incidence of hunger and poverty and are already highly vulnerable to drought, flooding and cyclone.
  • Many African countries may be dependent upon food imports.
  • The strongest affected area will be sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Developing countries may experience a decline of between 9 and 21 per cent in overall potential agricultural productivity as a result of global warming,climate change is among main challenges to agriculture in feeding the world’s population which is projected to reach 9.1 billion people by 2050.

Reasons:

  • Climate change is expected to affect agriculture and forestry systems through higher temperatures, elevated carbon dioxide concentration, changes in rainfall, increased weeds, pests and diseases.
  • In the short term, the frequency of extreme events such as droughts, heat waves, floods and severe storms is expected to increase.

Proposed Actions:

  • Agriculture-based mitigation options for climate change.
  • Increasing soil carbon sequestration through forestry and agro-forestry initiatives and tillage practices.
  • Improving efficiency of nutrient management and restoring degraded lands

Another report of FAO published in newspapers on September 23, 2009 said that world will have to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed a projected extra 2.3 billion people and as incomes rise.
Some facts from This report:

  1. Global cereals demand for food and animal feed is expected to rise to 3 billion tonnes by 2050 and more demand may come from the bio fuels industry.
  2. Annual cereals output would have to grow by almost one billion tonnes from about 2.1 billion tonnes at present to meet the projected food and feed demand by 2050.
  3. Meat output should increase by more than 200 million tonnes to reach 470 million tonnes in 2050.
  4. About 90 percent of the crop output growth is expected to come partly from higher yields, but arable land will have to expand by around 120 million hectares in developing countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
  5. Arable land in use in developed countries is expected to fall by some 50 million hectares, but that could be changed by the demand for bio fuels.
  6. Sufficient land resources are still available to feed the future world population, but much of the potential land is suitable for growing only a few crops, not necessarily the crops with highest demand.
  7. Massive investments would be required to bring the land not yet in use into production because much of it suffers from chemical and physical constraints, endemic diseases and lack of infrastructure.

Note: The UN World food programme recently said that the number of hungry people will pass 1 billion this year and the things getting worsened as food aid is at a 20-year low.

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