South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara face significant and burgeoning threats to food security and economic well-being as a result of climate change. These challenges are further complicated by rapid population growth in both regions, leading to both an increased demand for food and increased environmental strains and the potential for unsustainable agricultural practices to boost production. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) may be a feasible a solution to these challenges, if implemented appropriately and with local contexts in mind.
First in a series of posts examining key issues involving climate and food systems—here, climate finance—as the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai approaches (November 30-December 12).
The BIMSTEC - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation – country group consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand. Together, these countries are home to more than 712 food-insecure people, and the prevalence of food insecurity has increased in the majority of the region since 2014. Given this food security situation, India’s recent export ban of non-basmati white rice and export duty on parboiled rice raise significant concerns for the region.
In early 2022, Sudha Narayanan, Shahidur Rashid, and I (IFPRI), and Alex Winter-Nelson (University of Illinois) began pulling together a Special Issue for the journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy focused on COVID-19 in South Asia. Our goal was to distill forward-looking lessons for the developing world by drawing on similar and disparate country-level experiences. The issue is now available online and its 14 papers provide important lessons for future shocks.
Since early 2020, Guatemala has faced a multitude of food security shocks: from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on movement and disruptions to agricultural trade to widespread flooding following several major tropical storms to skyrocketing staple food prices. A new article in World Development examines the immediate and longer term impact of these shocks on households’ incomes, diets, food security, and migration decisions, particularly in rural areas.