The BHU Future Farming Centre

Information - The FFC Bulletin - 2017 V1 January

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The State of Food and Agriculture Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security FAO

By Charles Merfield

The new FAO State of Food and Agriculture report that focuses on the relationship between climate change and food security has a pretty blunt message: that it “will require a profound transformation of food and agriculture systems world wide” to solve the issues humanity faces.  The concerns raised by the FAO are starting to make the idea of a mere agrarian revolution woefully insufficient. 

It also highlights the double bind farming finds itself in: first that agriculture has to do its part in reducing civilisations impact on the climate, while second, also putting up with multiple negative impacts as climate shifts.  As many of those impacts are weather events that can have a profound impact on farming, such as floods, and droughts, it highlights the enormity of the task ahead. 

What I find increasingly striking is the increasing divergence between international agricultural policy, i.e., the FAO, which is calling for a paradigm shift in agriculture and what is happening an a national policy level.  Even in regions that are actively pursuing sustainable agriculture, such as the European Union, policy, and on the ground activity, is a fraction of what the FAO and other international perspectives are calling for, and for most countries, agricultural policy appears largely unchanged since the 1990s. 

Download the full report from the FAO (6 MB).