Smallholder farmers produce 80 percent of the food in Africa south of the Sahara, playing an important part in the region’s economy. But climate change is placing greater constraints on traditional agricultural methods, and farmers, both large and small, must find ways to adapt to this new environment.
When people think of agricultural inputs, they often think of factors like fertilizer and seeds. More crucial than any of these inputs, however, is something much simpler – water. Water is a vital resource for growing crops, but erratic or scarce rainfall in many parts of the world significantly constricts crop and livestock production. Water is also vitally important to human health and wellbeing.
In the face of global climate change, developing country farmers are now confronted with serious risks to their livelihoods and welfare. Assets of all types – from insurance and farm equipment to livestock and land rights - have an important role to play in helping populations deal with these ever-increasing climatic risks. In addition, it will be critical for community members to work collectively to adapt to their changing local environments.
Greater Accountability and Action Needed to Combat Global Malnutrition: First Global Nutrition Report
This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org , authored by David Cozac .
Malnutrition affects one in two people on the planet. 165 million children under the age of five suffer from stunting, while two billion people are deficient in one or more essential micronutrients, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron. Meanwhile, 1.5 billion people are classified as overweight or obese. The costs of failing to address malnutrition are tragically high: premature death, stressed health systems, and a severe drag on economic progress.
It has been well documented that children's early years, from birth through when they enter preschool, are crucial to their future health, cognitive, and economic well-being. Young children suffer disproportionately more than adults from economic shocks such as drought or food price spikes, as well as from non-economic shocks, like divorce or family separation. Undernourished children have been observed to have poorer cognitive skills in adulthood, are less likely to complete school, and are less productive economically.