Agriculture, Climate Change and Food Security
Rotich, Laban K.
Riungu, Geoffrey K.
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Agriculture is one of the main economic activities in the world, with its significance magnified especially among the world’s poor. This paper seeks to explore how climate change would impact on the agricultural sector and consequently food security. Agricultural activities in most developing countries entirely depend on rainfall patterns, on the contrary, climate change has emerging as an environmental challenge with adverse impacts expected on food security. This is mainly through incidences of changes in water availability, floods and drought. For example, changes in temperature and precipitation including drought affects crop and livestock yield, hydrologic balances, input supplies and other components of agricultural systems. Equally important, environmental degradation is one of the drivers of climate change that further undermines sustainability of agriculture. Climate change is real and already taking place. According to the inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC), warming temperatures are projected to cause more frequent and more intense extreme weather events such as heavy rain storms, flooding and tropical storms and in some cases drought in many parts of the country. Agriculture is one of the most climate sensitive sectors, with projections that 800 million people are currently food insecure. Additionally, it has the potential to undermine advances in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Thus, fundamental changes in agricultural systems are needed because climate change poses new and serious challenges for farmers hence food insecurity. Most important, agricultural adaptation and mitigation pathways need to be developed so as to avoid further threat on food security.
- Agriculture