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Climate Change Impact on Food Security

Climate Change Impact on Food Security

Why it matters?

There are many areas where Climate Change can Impact on Food Security. Such as Food safety may also be compromised with degraded hygiene in preparing food under limited freshwater availability or food-storage ability due to warmer climate. Malnutrition may also increase, due to shrinking food biodiversity and excessive dependence on a few staple foods.

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Global food insecurity had already been rising, due in large part to climate phenomena. Global warming is influencing weather patterns, causing heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts. Rising food commodity prices in 2021 were a major factor in pushing approximately 30 million additional people in low-income countries toward food insecurity.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Food Production:

In 2018, 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions originated from food production. Major emissions sources, enteric fermentation in livestock, nitrous oxide from manure, synthetic fertilizers, and methane from rice cultivation.

Food System’s Contribution to Emissions:

Contributes a third of global emissions, ranking second only to the energy sector. Primary methane and biodiversity loss source.

Food Production Models

Industrial Agriculture: Factory farms with large-scale animal holdings and heavy chemical inputs.

Subsistence Agriculture: Small-scale farmers focused on self-consumption or livelihood; common in India.

Impact on Farmers and Vulnerable Regions

  • Most Affected Regions: About 80% of vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
  • Climate Impact on Farmers: Extreme weather events threaten crops, impacting farmers’ livelihoods. Increasing costs, lack of infrastructure, and agricultural inputs affect their income.

Possible Solutions

  • Water Efficiency: Efficient water usage and demand management.
  • Crop Choices: Shift to less water-intensive crops for sustainability.
  • Soil Health Improvement: Boost organic carbon in soil for improved water retention and drought resilience.
  • Nature-Based Solutions: Offer significant climate change mitigation potential.

Innovative Approaches

  • ‘Burp Tax’ in New Zealand: Proposed tax based on cattle numbers to tackle emissions. Deferred due to ongoing assessments without agricultural sector inclusion.

The Path Ahead

  • Transformation of Food Systems: Urgent need for environmental, social, and economic harmony in food production and distribution.
  • Agriculture Impact: Agriculture occupies over 40% of Earth’s land and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater use.
  • Necessity of Addressing Issues: Imperative to tackle these challenges through a comprehensive transformation.

The pressing need for a sustainable and resilient food system demands comprehensive changes addressing environmental, social, and economic dimensions to secure food security in the face of climate change.

Read Also: Threats To Coral Reefs

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