Global Food Policy Report: IFPRI

Global Food Policy Report: IFPRI

News: Recently, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released Global Food Policy Report: Climate Change & Food Systems, showing India’s risk for hunger could increase 23% by 2030 due to Climate Change.

Key Findings:
• India’s food production could drop 16% and the number of those at risk for hunger could increase 23% by 2030 due to climate change.
• The number of Indians at risk from hunger in 2030 is expected to be 73.9 million in 2030 and, if the effects of climate change were to be factored in, it would increase to 90.6 million.
• The aggregate food production index would, under similar conditions, drop from 1.6 to 1.5. Food production index covers food crops that are considered edible and that contain nutrients. Coffee and tea are excluded because, although edible, they have no nutritive value.
• On a positive note, climate change will not impact the average calorie consumption of Indians and this is projected to remain roughly the same at 2,600 kcal per capita per day by 2030 even in a climate change scenario.
• The average temperature across India is projected to rise by between 2.4°C and 4.4°C by 2100. Similarly, summer heat waves are projected to triple by 2100 in India.

How food production impacts Climate Change?
• Food system activities, including producing food, transporting it, and storing wasted food in landfills, produce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions that contribute to climate change. Of these sources, Livestock production is the largest, accounting for an estimated 14.5 % of global GHG emissions from human activities.
• If global trends in meat and dairy intake continue, our chances of staying below the 2° Celsius threshold will still be extremely slim.
• This is why urgent and dramatic reductions in meat and dairy consumption, alongside reductions in GHG emissions from energy use, transportation, and other sources, are crucial to avoiding catastrophic climate change.
• The responsibility for eating lower on the food chain falls most heavily on countries like the U.S. with the highest per capita consumption of meat and dairy. Changing diets on an international scale will require more than just educating consumers – national policies will need to shift in ways that support more plantcentric diets.

Recommendations of Global Food Policy Report:
• There must be improved management of land and water resources. Policy should ensure there are no “undesirable trade-offs” in development goals, finding a balance between the additional energy required to increase productivity while not contributing further to fossil fuel emissions.
• Healthy diets and sustainable methods of food production need to be prioritized. It is advisable to reduce consumption of highly processed foods and red meats to improve food ecological footprint.
• Social protection program must be introduced that protect the rural poor engaged in agricultural activity from the effects of climate change.
• Value chains need to be made more efficient and support ‘free and open’ trade, which the report calls ‘an integral part of climate-smart agricultural and food policies.’

There is need to increase investment in research and development for ‘disruptive technology’ innovations, such as irrigation systems and the cold chain, which could ‘accelerate sustainable food systems transformation.’ 

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