Director General, Mary Kelley, Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, It is an honor and a pleasure to be here, in Ireland, to speak about Climate Change and Agriculture. Agriculture will be and is already one of the first “markers” of climate change. The fear that climate change might disrupt the food system was present since the beginning of the climate negotiations . Already in Rio 1992, the ultimate goal of the Convention on Climate Change call for a stabilization of Greenhouse Gases in such a time frame “to ensure that food production is not threatened”. We now know that food production will be, is, threatened. Recent extreme events have caused shocks in productions which translate to global markets and trigger food price spikes, with dramatic impact on the most vulnerable. The FAO food price index is today at its highest historical level.
Agriculture has to face a triple challenge: First, it has to Produce enough food, Secund, it has to Adapt to CC (manage the already unavoidable)Third, it can Contribute to avoid the unmanageable, and take part in the global, cross sectoral efforts to mitigate CC, without compromising food production. Meeting these 3 challenges all together requires radical changes of food systems worldwide, towards more resilience and more efficiency.
Here is where we stand now.The world is globally producing enough food but:Almost 1 billion undernourished2 billion malnourished, lacking essential micronutrientsThe paradox is that the majority of the malnourished actually are food producers, smallholders and pastoralists. For them, food is not only a basic need, it is also the only and fragile support to their livelihood.32 states in food crisis, with international emergency action, 20 of them in Africa.Keep this map in mind, many of these “hungry” areas are also among the most impacted by CC.
The objective is to ensure Food and Nutrition Security, worldwide:It is not only Availability. It is not only global production of calories which has to be ensured.It is to have enough food accessible to everyone, everywhere, physically and economically. It is also utilization, to have the right food in quality and diversity. And to ensure the stability of these three components.
The world population will increase by a third from now to 2050.This 2 billion increase will be in developing countries, here in light green.And In the same time there will be much more people living in cities (70%, against 50% now).
Urbanization and income rise in developing countries are driving an increase in the consumption of animal products.Considering these trends, FAO estimates that, business as usual, food production will have to increase by 70% to 2050 to address demand both in quantity and quality.
Demand for biofuels is another important factor. It is very dependent on national policies and it is expected to grow, as shown here by the OECD/FAO projections.
This map shows a global increase of mean temperatures. It is indeed impressive. But Climate Change is not only increase of temperatures.There are a lot of factors to take into account.- Changes in rain patterns- Increased variability both in temperature and rain patterns- Changes in water availability- Frequency and intensity of “extreme events”- Sea level rise (& salinisation)Perturbations in ecosystemsWill have profound impacts on agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
These graphs compare the distribution of average temperature ofgrowing season, during the last century, in blue, with projections at the end of this century, in red, in South Africa and Peru.They show two major trends, both susceptible to have a major incidence on crops:Increase of average temperature, both red graphs are moving to the rightIncrease of variability, both red graphs are flatterIt means that not only crops will have to be adapted to a higher temperature, they will have to be more versatile, to accommodate for more unpredictable temperature.
This map shows globally increases in mean precipitations in high latitudes and an overall decrease in many parts of the tropics and sub tropics.And it is not only the annual total of rain which is important, but also the when and the how.Changes in rain patterns, increased variability, changes in intensity, will have a strong impact.Wet extremes will be more severe in wetter areas, in blue.Dry extremes will be more severe in dryer areas, in yellow and red.
To cope with increased variability in rain patterns, there is irrigation.20% of crop land is irrigated and it provides 40% to 45% of the world’s food. But in many areas there is already a lack of available water.Areas in red and orange already experience today or are close to experience physical water scarcity, because no more water is available.Areas in yellow are experiencing economic water scarcity. There is water available for irrigation but a lack of investment to use it.
The mega-deltas of Asia, in Vietnam, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh, such as here, are vital for world rice production.Increased flooding and salinity is a major threat.
There are also risks of disruptions in ecosystems’ functions, largely unknown, as diverse species will have diverse adaptation capabilities.Such as between pollinators/floral species pests/predatorsWith globalisation and CC, diseases could spread in areas were animals or plants don’t possess resistance genes.
These impacts will have major effects on agricultural production:- A decrease of production in certain areas- Changes in the geography of productions- And an increased variability of production
These are the results of a study applying IPCC’s projections at a scale compatible with agricultural zones of Morocco and then using plant models to estimate yields.Temperatures will increase by 3 degrees in 2080 and rain will decrease by 40%.For irrigated crops, yields will increase, but availability of water could be of concern.For rainfed cereals, fodder and vegetables, yields start to decrease in 2030.
Brazil has developed since 1996 zonings of climatic risks for 30 crops, used especially by banks for lending.EMBRAPA has projected these zonings using IPCC’s scenarios. On the left 2010, on the right 2070.Green is for low climatic risk.White is for high climatic risk.Other colors designate specific types of risks for which there could be coping measures such as irrigation.These maps show dramatic changes in favorable and unfavorable areas for coffee.- the areas at low climatic risk, in green, in 2010, become at high climatic risk, in white, in 2070. certain areas now at risk of frost, in yellow, will be at low climatic risk, in green in 2070.There will be profound changes in land use and in the geography of production because of climate suitability.
Climate change will also impact livestock.Elevation of mean temperature and water restriction both reduce voluntary feed intake (VIF) and thus performance of livestock. Climate change will affect quality and quantity of available food, directly by modifying the composition of pastures, indirectly by its effects on availability of feed. There could be, along with globalisation, modifications in the distribution, intensity and frequency of diseases and parasites
For 1 billion people, fish contributes at least 30% of animal protein intake.Aquaculturenow provides almost 50% of the fish for human consumption.Both Fisheries and aquaculture production systems are likely to suffer from the sea-level rise, changes in current sea productivity patterns, flooding, and increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
Wild foods, can make an essential contribution to balanced diets, especially in certain regions. They are also under threat.
Local impacts will bring global imbalances, with an increase, in blue, in both crop and livestock productivity in the North and a decrease, in red, in the South.Among impacted countries figure:Countries already food insecureSome important exporting countriesIt will induce profound changes in trade, with impact on prices and on the situation of net food importing countries.
Climate change will impact the most vulnerable countries and the most vulnerable people.It will for instance, according to IFPRI, impede the decrease of malnourished children in low income developing countries.There will also be probably important effects on malnutrition. Studies are mostly focused on cereals. They don’t capture all the nutritional consequences of the effect of Climate change on some foods, vegetables, wild foods… which have a very important role for balanced diets and which are endangered by CC.
Agriculture has to produce more food.Agriculture will be impacted by climate change.It is also called upon to contribute to mitigate climate change.But what could be it’s contribution?
We should not focus on the share of agriculture per se but consider a global perspective of the emissions of food systems, including their incidence on forests, on the energy sector, on transport.Worldwide, agriculture is accounted for 13,5% of emissions. It is 29,5 % in Ireland.Agriculture is also a major driver of deforestation, which accounts for 17,4%.More broadly, a study in 2006 estimated that 31% of the EU’s GHG emissions were associated with the food system.The question is how and to what extent agriculture and food systems can contribute to mitigate CC, without compromising Food and Nutrition Security.
This slide to make 3 points:First, the main sources of GHG emissions in the agricultural sector are not CO2. Agriculture is the source of nitrous oxide (N2O), 58% of total emissions, mostly through the application of fertilizers, and of methane (CH4), 47% of total emissions, essentially by livestock and rice.Secund, agricultural emissions are dependent on natural processes and on agricultural practices, which makes them more difficult to control and measure.Third, agriculture is a unique sector in that, with forestry, it can capture CO2 and store it in biomass and soil, acting as a “sink”.So you have both, emissions, mainly nitrous oxide and methane, and removals, mainly by carbon storage in soils.
As agricultural production is projected to increase in developing countries, so are agricultural emissions.It is mostly methane from livestock, in dark green, and nitrous oxide from fertilizers, in dark blue.
IPCC estimates the global technical mitigation potential from agriculture to be 5500-6000 Mt CO2 eq/year by 2030.This is grossly equivalent to three quarters of the emissions in 2030. (around 8200 MtCO2-eq )However, only one tenth of this potential is actuallyreduction of emissions, mainly by improvements in rice management and in livestock management.Nine tenthof this potential resides in enhancing soil carbon sequestration through:Reduced tillage, Improved grazing managementRestoration of organic soilsRestoration of degraded landsAnd 70% of this global potential stands in developing countries.
Agriculture has thus to address three intertwined challenges:To produce more food, in quantity, quality and diversity- To adapt to Climate ChangeTo contribute to mitigate Climate Change.In order to do so, Food systems have to become, at the same time:- More resource efficient: use less land, water, inputs to produce more food sustainably- And more resilient to change and shocks
To increase efficiency in the use of resources and resilience, Sustainable intensification of crop production combines:- Better management of water- Integrated nutrient management- Conservation agriculture- Better use of Genetic resources- Enhancement of Ecosystems’ functions- And Diversification
This graph shows, for some african countries, the gap between the current average national yields for maize, in yellow, and yields in farm demonstrations, using best practices, in green.For instance in Malawi, national average is of one ton per hectare, while in farm demonstrations, yields are of 5 tons per hectares ( which is not that far from yields in main European producing countries which are around 8 or 9 ton per hectare).Reducing this gap yield would enable to produce more, and on the same amount of land, thus reducing deforestation.
Water harvesting techniques aim to concentrate and store rain water in areas where there are periods of water stress and also where water supplies are inadequate or irregular. Zaï pits are constructed during the dry season in the arid and semiarid areas of the Sahel. Termite galleries encourage rainfall infiltration.Two weeks before the rains, one or two handfuls of dry dung (1-2.5 t/ha) are applied to the bottom of the pits and covered with earth. Millet is sown in the pits when the rains begin.This technique, thanks to local networks of farmers is now used on more than two hundred thousand hectares of degraded land in Burkina Faso degraded lands, restoring their productivity from zero to yields of half a ton or a ton.
Nutrients are essential to increase yields.But production of synthetic fertilisers is energy intensive at a high CO2 and economic cost, and at the field level they translate in nitrous oxide emissions.So, there is a need at the same time to improve fertilization and to limit the costs and the emissions.Improving fertilisers’ efficiency is essential. It can be done through various techniques.One way is to more precisely match nutrients with plant needs during the growing season, such as by fractioning the total amount in multiple doses.Deep placement of urea for rice, improves Nitrogen efficiency by keeping most of it in the soil close to the plant roots and out of the floodwater where it is susceptible to loss. In Bangladesh, this practice has shown 50-60 percent savings in urea use and yield increases of about 1 ton per ha.
Inclusion of legumes in rotations , here alfaalfa and wheat in Croatia, exploit symbiotic microbes to fix nitrogen which is harvested in the crop and partly transferred to subsequent crops increasing their yields. In forage legume/grass mixtures, nitrogen is also transferred from legume to grass increasing production of the pasture.
What is Conservation Agriculture?Conservation Agriculture combines minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover, and diversified crop rotations or plant associations.It improves soil fertility and nutrient management, increasing efficiency. In this example in Ghana, maize is combined with a legume.Conservation Agriculture protects the soil, keeps it cooler and reduces moisture losses by evaporation, increasing resilience.It increases carbon in soil, contributing to mitigate climate change.
To face increased uncertainties we need to be able to rely on the largest pool of genetic resources. They are threatened by climate change but indispensable for adaptation.We need to keep very diverse genetic material, including traditional and improved crop varieties and their wild relativesThey are adapted to specific conditions, have been selected for different uses, and constitute the reservoir from which varieties can be developed to cope with effects of climate change such as drought resistance, shortening of the growing season, increased incidences of pests and diseases.
It is not enough to have the appropriate genetic resources in a gene bank or a research centre.They have to be multiplied and distributed, which require plant breeders, seed enterprises and the proper legal system to certify their quality and the accuracy of the genetic information. All these actors and elements constitute “seed systems” which enable farmers to have the seeds they need. Regional harmonization of seed rules and regulations is also essential, particularly as crops will move, to adapt to climate change.
FAO has supported the introduction in Haiti of the bean variety ICTA Lijero from Guatemala which is very early maturing and resistant to the Golden Mosaic Virus, a major plant disease in Haiti.This variety allows farmers in irrigated plains to have two harvests of beans before the starting of the hot season. 34 Community seed producer groups have produced 400T of bean seed in 2009.
In the livestock sector, increasing efficiency is the main way to reduce emissions. Improved fertility, improved health, improved genetics increase herd productivity and efficiency in the use of resources. It enables to produce more, more quickly, with the same number of animals.As the emissions per kg of output depend on animals and on their feed the more you produce per animal, the less emissions per kg of output.More energy dense feed decrease methane emissions. But the production of feed is a source of nitrous oxide emissions and could be a cause of deforestation.Improve manure management can reduce methane emissions.Grassland management can enhance carbon sinks.
With a death rate of calves of more than 20%, in red on the map, it takes, in most of Afrika, 5 cows to get 4 calves.To get 4 calves, 5 cows have to be fed, 5 cows are emitting methane. Reducing death rate of calves would increase efficiency both economically and environmentally.
This graph shows that the more productive a dairy cow, the less emissions per liter of milk. On the left, pastoral systems, on the right, intensive systems. The difference being in a factor of more than 6.
This domestic biodigestor in Cambodia produces enough fuel for daily cooking and lighting by using the manure of six pigs or two to three cattle.It provides renewable energy, reducing deforestation. It avoids methane emissions. In addition the resultant slurry is used as a fertilizer to improve soil quality.
Resilience in traditional and pastoral systems combine:Spreading risks, with diverse species, diverse locationsHerd movement management of grassland Complementary feed can be used during the dry season.Availability of water is of particular importance as it often limits the movements to food and increase overgrazing near water points.There is a compromise to find, according to local circonstances, between efficiency and performance.For cattle in Niger, walking to food, walking to water is a necessity; hardiness and good gaits are conditions for survival.Depending on local conditions to select for performance in indigenous breeds could thus be more resilient, and efficient on the long run, than crossing with exotic breeds, even if it is a longer process.
As performance levels increase the vulnerability of the animal increases. Therefore the impacts can be particularly severe for high performance animals when their environment is not sufficiently controlled.Heat waves can cause losses, for instance in feedlots and especially in the poultry industry. In Morocco, during the heat wave of July 2009, 25% of broilers were lost, more than 60% in under equipped farms.For intensive systems which depend on imported feed, flexibility to adapt to economic shocks such as feed price variations will be an important factor of resilience.
Diversified rotations, including crop varieties and species with different thermal/temperature and rain patterns requirements, are an effective way to reduce risks and increase efficiency. Diversification can both increase the efficiency of systems and their resilience, at farm and local level.
We can improve crop systems, livestock systems, or both, by integrating them.Integrated crop and livestock systems, at various levels of scale (on-farm and area-wide), increase the efficiency and environmental sustainability, of both productions. When livestock and crops are produced together the waste of one is a resource for the other : manure increases crop production and crop residues and by-products feed the animals, improving their productivity. In these systems, livestock is a strategic element for adaptation:It is an alternative to cropping in areas becoming marginal for cropping.It is a way to escape poverty and a coping mechanism in variable environment. Animals constitute a capital to be converted in cash when needed.
Rice-Fish integrated systems are another example of very productive systems, which also provide more balanced diets.
Grasslands, including rangelands, represent 70 percent of the world’s agricultural area. Globally grassland degradation is estimated to be 20 – 35 percent. Improved grazing management could lead to greater forage production, more efficient use of land resources, and enhanced resilience. As diversified grasslands are at the same time more productive and more resilient. Improving grazing land management is estimated to represent one quarter of all agriculture’s mitigation potential, over 1.5 billion tons CO2 eq/year (IPCC 2007).
Agroforestry, here in Niger, is a powerfull way to increase efficiency of land use and build carbon stocks.FaidherbiaAlbida is a very special tree. It fixes nitrogen thus increases yield of associated crops. Increase up to 100% have been reported.It has the special feature of reversed phenology: it is dormant and shed its leaves during the early rainy season and leafs out when the dry season begins.Thus, it does not compete with crops for light, nutrients or water and it can provide fodder for livestock during the dry season.And it increases carbon stocks above and under ground.
Landscape approaches, such as here in the Nile basin in Rwanda, enable to, collectively, better manage land, water and biodiversity with resulted increases in both efficiency and resilience.
These were examples in agriculture.But there also possibilities to increase efficiency all along the food chains.
Food losses are impressive. It is food lost but also emissions in vain, especially at the end of the food chain.Differences between regions for the same type of products show that there could be improvements.Losses of cereals are half higher in Europe than in Sub Saharian Africa.Losses of milk are the double in Sub Saharian Africa than in Europe
Where on the food chain do we loose food?It depends on the products, and on the areas.In Africa cereals are lost in the first stages.In Europe,they are lost mostly at the consumer stage: 25% against 1% in Africa.
Again, for fruits and vegetables, the differences between regions are striking.In Africa processing and distribution are the weak links, which highlights the need of investments in these stages.In Europe it is at the production and consumption stages that most of the losses occur.These wide differences show possibilities of improvement.
And there are techniques to reduce food losses.Use of metallic silos in Afghanistan had reduced storage loss from 15-20 percent to less than 1-2 percent.
In Africa 90% of the extracted wood is used for domestic purposes, mostly cooking. Improved energy saving cooking stoves such as those in Ghana contribute to reduce deforestation.
To achieve such changes in agricultural systems and food chains requires enabling policies, institutions and finances.Moreover, appropriate policies, institutions and governance are essential to increase systemic resilience and efficiency at local, national and international level.
Climate change will add more risks to production andaggravate existing risks, especially for the more vulnerable.Therefore it is even more necessary to establish everywhere and for every specific risk, whether climate, animal or plant diseases or even economic, proper tools to manage them. To limit losses ex ante by:monitoringAssessing vulnerabilityidentification of (ex-ante) damage reduction measures Action at the earliest stage of the eventQuick reparation of losses to productive assets can avoid long term consequences.
Whatever the change it involves costs.Even if the new practice will provide the same or an increased income there are barriers to adoption: Up front costs, income foregone during the transition period or additional risks during the transition period which have to be covered.Take for instance mitigation measures.Mitigation measures in the agricultural sector are considered among the cheapest, with a quarter of the technical mitigation potential being estimated as costing less than 20$/tCO2. But these estimations compare the income with a new practice to the income without the practice. They do not take into account transition costs, nor the cost of the enabling environment, such as extension services for instance.These costs have to be assessed and taken into account.
There is already a gap today in funding for investment in developing countries.The needs will increase.FAO estimated that cumulative gross investment requirements for agriculture in developing countries add up to nearly US$9.2 trillionuntil 2050 or nearly US$210 billion annually. Therefore the decreasing trend in funding has to be reversed. It includes increasing the share of Official Development Assistance directed to agriculture. Domestic efforts have to be pursued at the appropriate level.
To achieve the radical changes required there is a very strong need for agricultural research and development.But as you can see on this graph, efforts are slowing, on every continent, since the eighties, the period of the Green Revolution in Asia.So if we are to achieve a change of the same magnitude, investment in agricultural research and development has to increase dramatically.
Trade is a very powerful tool to build efficiency and resilience.Small holders have to be linked to markets with proper infrastructures either material and immaterial.International trade is an essential factor of resilience but at the same time it transmits the effects of shocks and as such can also be a factor of systemic risk.Price volatility is a major threat to the efficiency of the international markets as buffer of climatic irregularities.
Food Security and Climate change, both adaptation and mitigation have to be considered comprehensively, at every level, local national, regional and international. It shall involve all stakeholders, farmers, agro industry, retailers, consumers and public authorities.
The Cancun Agreement contains major points for the agricultural sector.The adoption of the Cancun Adaptation Framework gives a new importance to adaptation.The creation of the Green Climate Fund with the aim of a balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation will provide new opportunities.The establishment of REDD+, to protect forests against deforestation and degradation, aknowledges the need to better address the drivers of deforestation, including agriculture.Many developing countries are including actions in the agricultural sector in their “NAMA’s”, nationally appropriate mitigation actions.
Food production is threatened.To tackle the issue at a global level, Food and Nutrition Security has to be fully accounted for in climate change policies. Reversely, Climate change has to be fully accounted for in food security policies.The Committee on World Food Security has requested its High Level Panel of Experts a study on the links between the two issues.The Adoption of the Cancun Adaptation Framework is an opportunity to better highlight Food and Nutrition Security implications of Climate Change and climate change policies. FAO has done so in its recent submissions to UNFCCC.We need to establish proper links between the international fora discussing Food Security issues and Climate Change.
Transcript of "Climate Change & Agriculture : ensuring food production is not threatened"
Climate Change and Agriculture: ensuring food production is not threatened.EPA Public Lecture Series on Climate Change - Dublin - 15 March 2011<br />Alexandre Meybeck, FAO<br />
A triple Challenge<br />More food, in quantity, quality and diversity, everywhere for everyone<br />Adapt to Climate Change<br />Contribute to mitigate Climate Change<br />
Main effects on agricultural production<br />Decrease of production in certain areas<br />Changes in the geography of productions<br />Increased variability of production<br />
Projected yields in Morocco<br />Irrigated crops<br />0%<br />Yield <br />Variation<br />Rainfed<br />crops<br />A: irrigated maize and irrigated seasonal vegetables - B: irrigated fruits and vegetables - C: fodder crops and vegetables - D: rainfed cereals and legumes - E: rainfed wheat and barley - F: Other rainfed crops.<br />
Climatic risks for Coffee production in Brazil (Embrapa)<br />2010<br />2070 (scenario A2)<br />Green: low climatic risk<br />White: high climatic risk<br />Mauve: irrigation necessary<br />Pink: irrigation recommended<br />Yellow: risk of frost<br />Blue: risk of high temperature<br />
Main impacts of CC on livestock<br /><ul><li>Increased risk of heat stress, intensity and frequency
Food Systems more efficient and resilient<br />More food, in quantity, quality and diversity <br />Adapt to Climate Change<br />Contribute to mitigate Climate Change<br />More resource efficient: use less land, water, inputs to produce more food sustainably<br />More resilient to change and shocks<br />
Crop-Livestock Systems<br />Learning from Shinyanga, Tanzania: Restoring 500,000 ha of degraded grasslands<br />to higher productivity by adapting traditional Ngitili agro-pastoral management<br />
Trade for efficiency & resilience<br />Link small holders to markets<br />Infrastructures<br />Transparency<br /><ul><li>International markets</li></ul> - Information, transparency<br /> - Price volatility<br />
Governance<br />Need to address comprehensively Food Security and Climate Change, both Adaptation & Mitigation<br />At every level, local, national, regional<br />
Cancun Agreement<br />Cancun Adaptation Framework <br />REDD+ (drivers of deforestation)<br />Green Climate Fund (balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation)<br />NAMA’s<br />
Link Food Security & Climate Change in international Fora<br />CFS has requested a study to HLPE on Food Security & Climate Change <br />Cancun Adaptation Framework has to include Food Security concerns<br />