Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture - Factsheet on Asia

  • According to the study, the Asia-Pacific region will experience the worst effect on rice and wheat yields worldwide, and decreased yields could threaten the food security of 1.6 billion people in South Asia.

  • The crop model indicates that in South Asia, average yields in 2050 for crops will decline from 2000 levels by about 50 percent for wheat, 17 percent for rice, and about 6 percent for maize because of climate change.

  • In East Asia and the Pacific, yields in 2050 for crops will decline from 2000 levels by up to 20 percent for rice, 13 percent for soybean, 16 percent for wheat, and 4 percent for maize because of climate change.

  • With climate change, average calorie availability in Asia in 2050 is expected to be about 15 percent lower and cereal consumption is projected to decline by as much as 24 percent compared to a no climate change scenario.

  • In a no-climate change scenario, the number of malnourished children in South Asia would fall from 76 to 52 million between 2000 and 2050, and from 24 to 10 million in East Asia and the Pacific. Climate change will erase some of this progress, causing the number of malnourished children in 2050 to rise to 59 million in South Asia and to 14 million in East Asia and the Pacific, increasing the total number of malnourished children in Asia by about 11 million.

  • To counteract the effects of climate change on nutrition, South Asia requires additional annual investments of 1.5 billion USD in rural development, and East Asia and the Pacific require almost 1 million USD more. Over half of these investments in both regions must be for irrigation expansion.

Source: International Food Policy Research Institute, Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation, 2009

Additional Facts

  • The Asian countries most vulnerable to climate change are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Nepal.

  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are particularly vulnerable to declining crop yields due to glacial melting, floods, droughts, and erratic rainfall, among other factors.

  • Asia is the most disaster-afflicted region in the world, accounting for about 89 percent of people affected by disasters worldwide.

  • More than 60 percent of the economically active population and their dependents—2.2 billion people—rely on agriculture for their livelihoods in developing parts of Asia.

Source: Asian Development Bank, Addressing Climate Change in the Asia and Pacific Region, 2009

Published date: 
2009
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