Food Security Current Affairs

Climate change costs India $10 billion every year: Government

In its recent report, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has observed that extreme weather events are costing India $9-10 billion annually. It also observed that climate change is projected to impact agricultural productivity with increasing severity from 2020 to the end of the century.

It also mentioned that the extreme weather events are not always linked to climate change but their frequency and severity is increasing and this is being increasingly read as fallout of climate change.

Impact of Climate change on agriculture

Decrease in Productivity

The productivity of major crops will be marginal in the next few years but it could rise to as much as 10-40% by 2100 unless farming adapts to climate change-induced changes in weather. Major crops such as wheat, rice, oilseeds, pulses, fruits and vegetables will see reduced yields over the years.

It will force farmers to either adapt to challenges of climate change or face the risk of getting poorer. It could turn India into a major importer of oilseeds, pulses and even milk. Adaptation to climate change will need different cropping patterns and suitable inputs to compensate yield fluctuations.

Food Security

Vulnerability of Indian agriculture due to vagaries associated with climate change and low adaptation capacity of majority of Indian farmers poses risk to food security of the country. By 2030, India may need 70 million tonnes more of foodgrains than the expected production in 2016-17.

The demand for food is also going to increase due to an increasing population, expanding urbanisation and rising income.  To meet increasing demand, India to depend on import if it does not act on time to increase production and productivity of major food crops, pulses, oilseeds and milk by adapting to climate change.

Projected food demand

The ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research has projected food demand of 345 million tonnes (MT) by 2030- almost 30% higher than in 2011. The projected demands for fruits, vegetables, milk, animal products (meat, eggs and fish), sugar and edible oil, by 2030 is estimated to be 2-3 times more than that in 2011.

Economic Losses

According to the economic survey estimates, India currently incurs losses of about $9-10 billion annually due to extreme weather events. Of these, nearly 80% losses remain uninsured. The quantum of losses are going to increase substantially in future if one takes into account the impact of climate change on farm productivity.

Improve in Yields

Though there is possibility of decrease in yields of certain crops in traditional sown areas due to climate change but it may increase elsewhere due to change in weather pattern. Though most crops will see reduced production, but climate change may also help improve yields of soyabean, chickpea, groundnut, coconut (western coast) and potato (in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh).

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India to become largest milk producer in 2026: OECD-FAO report

According to recently released OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026, India will be the world’s largest milk producer by 2026 and will account for the biggest increase in wheat production globally.

Key Highlights of Report

Population Growth

Over the ten-year outlook period, world’s population will increase from 7.3 to 8.2 billion, with India and Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 56% of total growth. Given their strong population growth, India and Sub-Saharan Africa will also drive a large share of global food demand. India’s population will grow to 1.5 billion from 1.3 billion, an increase of almost 150 million. India will overtake China to be the most populous country in the world by 2026.

Calories and protein consumption

Additional calories and protein consumption over the outlook period are expected to come mainly from sugar, vegetable oil and dairy products. By 2026, average calorie availability is projected to exceed 3000 kcal per person per day in other developing countries and reach 2450 kcal in least developed countries. Food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms will remain persistent global problem that will require a coordinated international approach. Growth in demand for meat is projected to slow, with no new sources of demand.

Global food commodity prices

The global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the outlook period as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down. Real prices are expected to remain flat or decline for most of the commodities. Agricultural trade is also expected to grow more slowly, but remain less sensitive to weak economic conditions than other sectors.

Milk production

Over the first quarter of the 21st century, milk production in India will be nearly tripled. Over the course of the outlook period, milk production in India will grow 49% and in 2026, India will become the world’s largest milk producer, with an output one-third above European Union, second largest producer.

Wheat Production

Global production of wheat is projected to increase by 11% over the outlook period, while the wheat area will increases only by 1.8%. The increase in wheat production is expected to occur through higher yields, most notably in Asia and Pacific, which will account for 46% of additional wheat production. Within the region and globally, India (15 million metric tonnes) will account for the biggest increase in production. Pakistan (6 Mt) and China (5.5 Mt) are also expected to have significant gains. The European Union will account for 13% of the production increase.

Rice production

Rice production is expected to grow by 66 Mt and will be exclusively driven by yield growth, which will account for 93% of additional production. The global area dedicated to rice production is expected to increase by only a 1% from the base period, while global yields will increase by 12%. Major production gains are projected for India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam with yields expected to increase by over 15%.

 

FAO: It is Rome based specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger across the world.

OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development): It is Paris based an intergovernmental economic organisation with 35 member countries, founded in 1960 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

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