Report Warns of Looming Food Insecurity Next Year

Dec 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Food, News, Vulnerability

IFPRIThe Guardian: Intense food insecurity by 20 per cent has been projected to hit the East African countries, including Tanzania in the coming year 2014, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has reported.

The report has indicated massive climate change, steady rising temperatures, unpredictable humidity and precipitation patterns as the major factors generating expected long-term food insecurity, among the member counties of the East African community.

The IFPRI report shows that climate change could either lower food production, alongside with longer periods of drought; make the entire east African region prone to long term famine.

However, the report warned that the situation could be worse if stern measures are not taken to curb the deserter and maintain sustainable food production among the East Africa Countries.

The report shows that since agriculture drives these countries’ economies and accounts for 43 per cent of their annual gross domestic product (GDP) adaptation should be taken as soon as possible to rescue the countries whereas without attention to adaptation, the poor will suffer.

A comprehensive analysis examines the food security threats facing 10 of the countries that make up east and central African countries which are Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda and explores how climate change will increase the efforts needed to achieve sustainable food security throughout the region.

“Without adaptation, climate change will have negative effects on wheat, soybean, and sorghum and irrigated rice yields. Yield declines for each crop are different, but they range between 5 and 20 per cent, with irrigated rice being the crop most negatively impacted,” the report analyzed.

Rained maize and rain fed rice yields might increase slightly because of climate change, generally because of projected higher rainfall in some areas.

Agriculture which is the most important economic activity to the economies of East African countries is threatened by climate change, with its effects on temperature and precipitation.

With adaptation to climate change, including investment in agricultural technology development of new varieties, maize yields could increase across the region by more than 50 percent between now and 2050.

The report shows that since maize is among the major crops grown in the region, it is likely to have the highest price increase by 2050, with some models showing the real price doubling on the global markets.

Maize represents almost 30 per cent of the cultivated land, followed by sorghum, rice, beans, and cassava whereby together they make up almost another 30 per cent.

Some areas will be very hard hit by climate change, making growing crops much more difficult.

The report suggests that parts of West Kenya will no longer be suitable for maize. At the same time, other areas that were not previously suitable for crops probably can be brought into production.

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