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25.11.2009 Studies
 
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Food Security and Agricultural Mitigation in Developing Countries

FAO, 2009

Content

  • Assessment of farming practices according to their food security and climate properties, including implementation issues (financing, measurement of climate effects for emission trading).

Findings

  • Complex effects of climate change on agriculture (positive CO2 fertilization effects, water scarcity because of decreased precipitation and glacier melt, increased climate variability and greater frequency of extreme weather events …).
  • Strong negative effect on agricultural production can be expected after 2050, already food insecure regions (Southern Africa and South Asia) will be hit earliest and hardest.
  • Many climate-friendly farming practices promise economic gains for developing country farmers. Barriers that prevent their adoption: short-term productivity losses (e.g. restoration takes land out of production, incorporation of crop residues into soil leaves less fodder for livestock), capital upfront investments, knowledge, insecure property and tenure rights.
  • Strategies that create synergies for food security and carbon sequestration: Restore degraded land, Expand low energy-intensive irrigation, Change from bare to improved fallow, Agro-forestry options that increase food or incomes, Conservation tillage and residue management, Improved soil nutrient management

Comment

  • Investing in sustainable agriculture in developing countries is an effective strategy in the fight against climate change and hunger - and pays multiple indirect dividends, such as reduced migration and enhanced political stability.