UNDP Issues Brief on Resilient Food and Agriculture


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UNDP Issues Brief on Resilient Food and Agriculture

November 6, 2020

As climate change continues to drive food insecurity, addressing the risks of climate change across the value chain – especially agricultural products that are important to food and nutrition security – will yield significant adaptation benefits to vulnerable small producers and rural communities at large. This will support global efforts to end hunger and poverty, build more effective farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerate the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.  

Agriculture is socio-economic backbone of rural landscapes employing an estimated 2.5 billion people. Over the 20th century food and agriculture commodity production and consumption has grown largely at the cost of negative externalities that led to social inequalities and environmental degradation.  

Agriculture contributes about one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions and is a primary cause of biodiversity loss. As relying on topsoil fertility, water resources and other essential ecosystem services, agriculture is highly sensitive to changes in climate variability. Climate change exerts additional pressures on agriculture to produce nutritious food in sufficient quantity to satisfy increasing demand of fast-growing population. The current production and consumption practices are not adapted to the impacts of climate change and driving agriculture towards unsustainable trajectory with multiple human development impacts.