Agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture to eradicate world hunger: FAO

With climate change, ozone depletion and droughts in Australia and California's Central Valley, some farmers are coating wallnuts with sunscreen to alleviate sun damage. File photo

With climate change, ozone depletion and droughts in Australia and California's Central Valley, some farmers are coating wallnuts with sunscreen to alleviate sun damage. File photo   | Photo Credit: Gary Kazanjian

Adopting "climate-smart" agricultural practises would be key to eradicate hunger from the world, a UN body has said.

Climate smart agricultural practises could address the twin problems of food security and climate change, FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation) Director-General Jacques Diouf said.

“By climate smart, we mean agriculture that sustainably increases productivity and resilience to environmental pressures, while at the same time reduces greenhouse gas emissions or removes them from the atmosphere, because we cannot ignore the fact that agriculture is itself a large emitter of greenhouse gases,” he said.

Drawing gloomy picture, he said the world's population is expected to surpass 9 billion people by 2050, which will require an estimated 70 per cent increase in global agricultural production.

At the same time, climate change is expected to have multiple impacts on agricultural productivity and rural

incomes in areas that are already experiencing high levels of food insecurity, the FAO DG added.

The FAO head stressed that a variety of climate-smart practices already exist and are being used in some places, providing examples that could be more widely implemented in developing countries, as highlighted in an FAO report prepared in advance of the Cancun conference.

He also stressed on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

“Forestry and agro-forestry, sectors that hundreds of millions of rural people depend on for their livelihoods, also hold great potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing carbon sinks, stabilising rural livelihoods and strengthening household food security,” added Mr. Diouf.

“The biophysical mitigation potential of forests is estimated at about 64 per cent of the emissions from forestry, while agriculture could provide an estimated technical mitigation potential that could reach 83-90 per cent of that sectors’ total emissions,” he said.

The FAO chief referred to developed countries offsetting their own emissions by investing in “REDD projects” in the developing world.

The term “REDD+” is used to describe efforts to move this beyond just deforestation and forest degradation and include conservation, sustainable forest management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in such exchanges.

REDD+ could generate an estimated $ 30 to $ 100 billion worth of investment for developing countries per year, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 11:15:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/Climate-smart-agriculture-to-eradicate-world-hunger-FAO/article15591862.ece

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