FAO Director Asserts Need for Action on Agriculture

Climate change is already having an impact on agriculture, and the implications for food security are alarming. They highlight the urgent need to support smallholders in adapting to the challenges the whole world faces. Farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk and community foresters all depend on activities that are intimately and inextricably linked to climate. Their livelihoods are thus the most vulnerable to climate change. They will require far greater access to technologies, markets, information and credit for investment to adjust their production systems and practices to climate change.

Action must be taken now to make agriculture more sustainable, productive and resilient. Otherwise, the impacts of climate change will seriously compromise food production in countries and regions that are already highly food-insecure – and jeopardise progress towards the key Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger and poverty by 2030. We cannot let that happen, especially as the negative impacts on agriculture will be even more widespread after 2030.

Through its effects on agriculture, livelihoods and infrastructure, climate change threatens all dimensions of food security. It will expose both urban and rural poor to higher and more volatile food prices. It will also affect food availability by reducing the productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries, and hinder access to food by disrupting the livelihoods of millions of rural people who depend on agriculture for their incomes.

Hunger, poverty and climate change need to be tackled together. This is, not least, a moral imperative as those who are now suffering most have contributed least to the changing climate.

http://www.climateactionprogramme.org/climate-leader-papers/transforming_agriculture_to_address_climate_change

Neil Palmer/CIAT

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