Climate Smart Crops: A Necessity for Future Food & Nutrition Security

Climate Smart Crops: A Necessity for Future Food & Nutrition Security

WASHINGTON DC, Aug 31 2017 (IPS) - Climate change is taking a severe toll on farmers, as they watch their livelihoods disappear with the onslaught of floods, droughts and rising sea levels and temperatures. With agriculture currently employing over 1.3 billion people throughout the world, or close to 40 percent of the global workforce, it is imperative that we incorporate climate resilience into all aspects of crop breeding and food innovation.

Developing ways to improve staple crops so that they can withstand some of the adverse effects of climate change will ensure food security and agricultural livelihood for generations to come.

A recent report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) found that at current rates of climate change, it is likely that global food production will decline by two percent every decade until at least 2050, just as the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people.

As a result of these factors, people may be forced to eat fewer fruits, vegetables, and red meat products because their availability may be scarce and prices may rise accordingly. Access to food may also be limited by climate-related vulnerabilities in transportation, storage, and processing.

Projection models from the World Bank likewise show that by the 2030s-2040s, between 40 to 80 percent of cropland used to grow staple crops like maize, millet and sorghum could be lost due to the effects of higher temperatures, drought and aridity.