How does climate change alter agricultural strategies to support food security?

The negative effects of climate change are projected to affect the populations with the least capacity to adjust, but with the greatest need for improved agricultural performance to achieve food security and reduce poverty. The purpose of the paper is to identify how climate change affects how we should approach the process of transforming agricultural systems (including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry) to support global food security and poverty reduction in a sustainable way. We also identify implications for FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and CGIAR priorities.

To achieve this goal, we identify and discuss five major categories of responses within agricultural transitions that can be taken to respond to climate change: 1) increasing the resilience of production systems, 2) diversification, 3) expanding the use of no regrets technologies and planning, 4) better use of information for risk management, and 5) utilizing the co-benefits from mitigation. The urgency of reducing food insecurity together with the need for immediate responses to climate change impels us to define mechanisms, actions and approaches to stimulate desired transitions.

Thornton, Philip
Lipper, Leslie
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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