Eight ways to halt a global food crisis

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Farming | Posted on 15-07-2019

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Michael Hamm, University of Oxford

There are serious challenges to global food supply everywhere we look. Intensive use of fertilisers in the US Midwest is causing nutrients to run off into rivers and streams, degrading the water quality and causing a Connecticut-size dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Chocolate production will soon be challenged in West Africa – home to over half of global production. A variety of nutritional impacts are predicted due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide – including decreased protein content in food, which has a potential to exacerbate malnutrition. And this is just a very small sample of the risks to the food supply chain that are foreseen.

The future of food then, may sound rather bleak. But this does not have to be the case. The food system could become part of the solution for environmental challenges, if we make some changes to it. It could also be an instrument of human health, well-being, dignity, and livelihood – rather than the opposite. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change is affecting crop yields and reducing global food supplies

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 10-07-2019

Farm land near Holly Bluff, Miss., covered with backwater flooding, May 23, 2019. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Deepak Ray, University of Minnesota

Farmers are used to dealing with weather, but climate change is making it harder by altering temperature and rainfall patterns, as in this year’s unusually cool and wet spring in the central U.S. In a recently published study, I worked with other scientists to see whether climate change was measurably affecting crop productivity and global food security.

To analyze these questions, a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment spent four years collecting information on crop productivity from around the world. We focused on the top 10 global crops that provide the bulk of consumable food calories: Maize (corn), rice, wheat, soybeans, oil palm, sugarcane, barley, rapeseed (canola), cassava and sorghum. Roughly 83 percent of consumable food calories come from just these 10 sources. Other than cassava and oil palm, all are important U.S. crops. Read the rest of this entry »

IFPRI Seminar on Climate and Food Security

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Posted by admin | Posted in Climate Change | Posted on 31-12-2010

Crops are key in fight against climate change

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Sci, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 31-12-2010

Crops are key in fight against climate change

Crops that survive the devastating effects of climate change are needed to save the world’s poorest people from hunger and poverty, the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said on December 4 as he announced a new agricultural research program.

The UK is giving extra support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to develop farming practices which will help ensure more food is available for struggling communities. Working with the CGIAR to help developing country farmers deal with the effects of climate change and improve environmental management is one of the most cost effective ways to tackle poverty and hunger. For every £1 invested in the CGIAR, at least an additional £9 worth of additional food is produced in developing countries. One example of CGIAR’s cutting-edge developments is a special flood-resistant rice (known as scuba rice) that can breathe under water for up to two weeks.

Inger Andersen, Chair of the CGIAR Fund and Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, said: “This innovative programme will deliver significant impacts by helping adapt agriculture to future climate change and to the climate variability that farmers face now.” Read the rest of this entry »

Facts blast – Global issues and impact on hunger

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Sci, Food Security | Posted on 31-12-2010

International food prices have increased steeply in the past six months, bringing the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index to its highest level since the high food price crisis in 2008 (only 16 points short from its peak in June 2008)

  • In many of the countries where WFP works, food prices remain above long-term averages, and higher than the period before the 2008 high food price crisis
  • WFP is monitoring the market situation carefully as price rises can hit the hungry poor hard and as more than half of WFP’s food is purchased with cash donations, higher prices can mean less food for the hungry
  • Climate change is expected to hit developing countries the hardest. Its effects— higher temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent weather-related disasters—pose risks for agriculture, food, and water supplies
  • World population is projected to rise to 9.1 billion in 2050 from a current 6.7 billion, requiring a 70 percent increase in farm production