Assuring food security in developing countries under the challenges of climate change

For a large number of developing countries, agriculture remains the single most important sector. Climate change has the potential to damage irreversibly the natural resource base on which agriculture depends, with grave consequences for food security. However, agriculture is the sector that has the potential to transcend from being a problem to becoming an essential part of the solution to climate change provided there is a more holistic vision of food security, agricultural mitigation, climate-change adaptation and agriculture’s pro-poor development contribution. What is required is a rapid and significant shift from conventional, industrial, monoculture-based and high-external-input dependent production towards mosaics of sustainable production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. The required transformation is much more profound than simply tweaking the existing industrial agricultural systems. However, the sheer scale at which modified production methods would have to be adopted, the significant governance and market-structure challenges at national and international level and the considerable difficulties involved in measuring, reporting and verifying reductions in GHG emissions pose considerable challenges.

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