Unseen force behind rising food price

We usually get a sneaking suspicion every time we go to shop for groceries (fruits, vegetables). Food generally costs more than it did a year ago. Global food production is struggling to keep pace with rise in demand for commodities. This leads to increase in price of commodities.

Government and consumer are decrying about the steady increase in food prices. However many groups of NGOs are taking a hard look at some of the factors that contribute to linkage of increase in commodity price and climate change.

Climate Change has environmental and socioeconomic outcomes for agriculture. There is change in quality and availability of land, soil and water resources. This later reflects in crop performance which causes price to rise. Conditions of climate change force farmers to continually adapt their agricultural productions particularly in decline or rise in water availability.

Primary and Secondary data sources believe that climate change has been attributed to greater inconsistencies in agricultural condition. It ranges from erratic flood and drought cycles to longer growing seasons. This impacts the supply in market of food commodities to be less as compared to before, leading to increase in demand and prices. Rising food cost impacts every person across the globe. It diminishes the ability of millions of families to meet the other essential needs.

The truth is that we will probably not be able to stop the climate change to any significant degree to bring the food yields to what we need. The biggest concern is probably in developing countries that rely more on grains. We may need to find different ways to grow the grains we need to supply the growth in population. Maybe developing controlled environment grow houses that can grow all year long will help. These would also help with employment. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

How climate change effects Livestock

While crops could be impacted by climate change, it is likely that farm animals would be even more susceptible to changes in the climate.

Temperature Increases

It is expected that increased air temperatures will cause more stress on livestock. Both humans and livestock are warm-blooded animals, so both are affected by increased heat and humidity. During stifling heat, livestock reproduction declines as well as their appetite. Decreased appetite will lengthen the time needed for the livestock to reach their target weight (most animals only eat about half of normal quantities when they are heat-stressed). Stress can also increase the incidence of sickness, decrease rates of reproduction, and increase fighting among animals in confinement. In some areas, night-time temperatures are even more above average than daytime temperatures during heat-waves, which has resulted in increased mortality rates. Despite the warmer winter temperatures, global warming could have a negative overall impact upon livestock.

Feed Quality

As indicated above, increased carbon dioxide may result in feed and forage that is less nutritious even if there is more of it. It is likely that growers would be forced to use feed additives in order to see the expected growth gains in livestock, and to avoid illnesses. This increased cost to the grower would result in increased food costs to the consumer. Availability could also decrease if there is not enough water and nutrients in stressed soils to keep up with plant growth.

Disease

Insect parasites and diseases could also become more prolific as global warming progresses. New diseases may also emerge in the Southeast that were once considered to inhabit only tropical areas. It is expected that in cases of increased heat stress and humidity, most livestock will not be able to fight these diseases without the use of costly medicines.

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Climate Change and its Consequences

During the last two decades, 200 million have been lifted out of hunger and the prevalence of chronic malnutrition in children has decreased from 40 to 26 percent. In spite of this progress, according to the World Bank, 102 million people still live in extreme poverty and according to this year’s report, on the safety of food insecurity in the world. 793 million people are undernourished.

Climate change exacerbates the risk of hunger and under nutrition through. Climatic change increases the frequency and intensity of some disasters such as droughts, floods and storms. This has an adverse impact on livelihood and food security. Climate related disasters have the potential to destroy the crops, critical infrastructures, and key community assets, therefore deteriorating livelihoods and exacerbating poverty.

Long term and gradual climate risks sea level will rise as a result of climate change, affecting livelihood in coastal areas and river deltas. Accelerated glacial melt will also affect the quantity and reliability of water available and change patterns of flooding and drought.

Climate change affects the all dimensions of food security and nutrition. Changes in climatic conditions have already affected the production of some staple crops, and future climatic change threatens to exacerbate this. High temperatures will have an impact on yields while changes in rainfall could affect both crop quality and quantity. Climate change could increase the prices of major crops in some regions. For the most vulnerable people, lower agriculture output means lower incomes. Under these conditions, the poorest people, who already use most of their income on food, sacrifice additional income and other assets to meet the nutritional requirements or resort to poor coping strategies.

Climate related risks affect calorie intake, particularly in areas where chronic food insecurity is already a significant problem. Changing climatic conditions could also create a vicious cycle of disease and hunger. Nutrition is likely to be affected by climatic change through related impacts on food security, dietary diversity, care practices and health.

The climatic variability produced by more frequent and intense whether events can upset the stability of individuals and government food security strategies, creating fluctuations in food availability, access and utilization

Climate Change, A devastator

Now days climate changes is challenging for human as well as for agriculture sector. Climate changes effect the food security in four dimensions; food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food system stability.

There are different changes in climate which affect the crops badly. Global warming is increasing day by day because of gases emitting out of chimneys from cars and burning of fossil fuels. Temperature is increasing day by day. Maturity period of crops is highly effecting by increasing temperature.

The depletion of ozone layer is also the problem. The ultraviolet rays come directly and affect the crops. Effects are already being felt in global markets, and are likely to be particularly significant in specific rural locations where crops fails and yield decline.

Impact will be felt in both rural and urban locations where supply chains are disrupted, market prices increases , assets and livelihood opportunities are lost, purchasing power falls, human health is endangered and  effected people are unable to cope.

Rising sea levels and increasing incidence of extreme events pose new risks for the assets of people living in affected zones, threating livelihood and increasing vulnerability to future food insecurity in all parts of the globe .

At the global levels therefore, food system performance today depends more on climate than it did 200 years ago; the possible impacts of climate change on food security have tended to be viewed with most concern in locations where fainfed agriculture is still the primary source of food and income.