From price spikes to future agricultures
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From Price Spikes to Future Agricultures. Steve Wiggins Overseas Development Institute. Food Price Spike 08/09 highlights 2 critical issues. High levels of hunger & malnutrition in developing world 1,020M undernourished: 195M U5s stunted

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From Price Spikes to Future Agricultures

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From price spikes to future agricultures

From Price Spikes to Future Agricultures

Steve Wiggins

Overseas Development Institute


Food price spike 08 09 highlights 2 critical issues

Food Price Spike 08/09 highlights 2 critical issues

  • High levels of hunger & malnutrition in developing world

    • 1,020M undernourished: 195M U5s stunted

    • aggravated by price spike & current economic problems

  • Future shocks & challenges for agriculture


  • Four transitions facing agriculture

    Four Transitions facing Agriculture

    • From oil & gas for energy & fertiliserto renewables

      • Cost of energy, N fertiliser set to rise

    • From wasteful to sparing use of copious & free irrigation water

      • Water is getting scarcer

    • From high emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) to neutral or even negative net emissions

      • Agriculture emits 17 to 32% of GHG, incl. land use change

      • Scope to lock C into soil, biomass


    Transitions con d from current to altered climates

    Transitions (con’d)From current to altered climates

    • Hotter, more frequent extreme events, altered rainfall

    • Raised sea levels, reduced & more variable river flows, changed incidence of pests & diseases

    • Few sectors more affected than farming.

    • Most projections see overall reduced yields to agriculture


    Future agricultures

    Future Agricultures?

    • More efficient & economical use of water & fertiliser

      • Better information technology and pricing will help;

    • Timely agriculture: prompt response to more variable weather

      • Information technology can help

    • Much reduced emissions through:

      • Better management of N fertiliser, manure

      • Less tillage

      • Drain rice paddies

      • Reduced stocks of ruminant livestock [?!]

      • Store C in soil and biomass

    • What would farming look like with C taxes on food?

    • NB: Climate-friendly = Pollute, Degrade Less


    Local production food security

    Local Production & Food Security

    • Trade helps! Why?

      • Produce where water, fertiliser use most economical, emitting less GHG ...

        • ... Not necessarily where consumers live

      • To cope with increased variability of harvests

    • Transitions ...

      • If not made, who suffers most? ...

      • Most important for poor & small farmers ... &

      • To reduce poverty & hunger


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