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How Do We Prevent a Food Crisis in the Midst of Climate Change?

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Intergovernmental food aid organizations are key to addressing climate-change-induced food crises.

Climate change will have far-reaching effects on crop, livestock, and fisheries production, the prevalence of crop pests, food production systems, and food security. The World Bank (2017) reported that food shortages due to drought are severe enough to affect 80 million people per day. Currently, 400 extreme weather events occur on average each year, and global climate change continuously increases climate hazards. These effects are more severe in poor countries and result in problems including housing shortages, poverty, and famine (Oxfam 2018). This policy brief examines domestic, foreign, and technological aspects of solutions to potential food crises.

Key points

  • The impacts of extreme events due to climate change, such as droughts, floods, and typhoons, along with the temperature rise due to global warming, are especially important for food security.

  • Increasing socioeconomic factors, such as population and income, as well as the decline of the agriculture sector, relate to climate change and accelerate the food crisis.

  • The challenges and impacts of climate change on agriculture can be categorized into (i) the inundation of agricultural land and saline intrusion due to sea level rise, (ii) desertification due to drought, (ii) flood damage and soil erosion, (iv) typhoon damage to food crops, cattle, and agricultural facilities, (v) reduced plant and livestock growth due to cold, and (vi) reduced yields due to pests and diseases.

  • During past Asian food crises, the government’s role has been to expand the cultivated area, develop and disseminate high-yielding seeds, and subsidize agriculture-related costs, such as those for fertilizer. The most important solution is using intergovernmental food aid organizations to establish international governance.

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