Impact of climate change on farmers

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is urging farmers to adapt their practices in response to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is urging farmers to adapt their practices in response to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is urging farmers to adapt their practices in response to climate change.

The Australian food and agriculture industry must adapt as the global climate changes.


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Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, erratic weather patterns and the prevalence of pests and diseases resulting from climate change threaten agricultural productivity and undermine global food supply.

At the same time, the world’s population is growing steadily and expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050.

To meet this growing demand, agriculture and food systems must adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Here are seven facts around climate change and some of the things FAO is doing to mitigate its effects on agriculture.

 

1. Livestock contributes to nearly two thirds of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 78 percent of agricultural methane emissions.

FAO is working with countries to improve livestock management and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

 

2. The negative impact climate change has on natural resources underlines the increasing importance of using these resources sustainably.

Declining global water supplies and soil degradation underlines the increasing importance of using these resources sustainably.

Good soil and forestry management, for example, can lead to the natural absorption of carbon dioxide, thereby decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

3. Agricultural production must rise by about 60 percent by 2050 in order to feed a larger population and climate change is putting this objective at risk.

Climate smart agriculture helps guide actions to transform and reorient agricultural systems by sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and income, adapting and building resilience to climate change, and reducing emissions where possible.

 

4. A third of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. That amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year.

The Save Food initiative, managed by FAO and Messe Düsseldorf, encourages dialogue between industry, research, politics, and civil society on food losses and brings together stakeholders involved in the food supply chain for conferences and projects to support the development of effective measures.

 

5. Catches of main fish species are expected to decline by up to 40 percent in the tropics by 2050, where livelihoods, food, and nutrition strongly depend on the fisheries sector.

FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries guides governments and private actors in conserving and managing the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes.

 

6. Deforestation and forest degradation account for an estimated 10 percent of global emissions.

The Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) toolkit FAO developed collates a large number of tools, case studies and other resources, organised in modules to provide forest owners access to resources for managing forests sustainably.

 

7. The world aims to achieve zero hunger by 2030, and climate change is a challenge that must be addressed in order to continue the fight against hunger.

FAO is helping countries to improve the global food system, by working to facilitate dialogues between government and the private sector.

 

Everyone has a role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change, according to FAO, and Australian farmers can help reduce their environmental footprint by becoming adopting more sustainable practices on the land.

 

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