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Agriculture needs to become `climate-smart`

Baku, October 29 (AZERTAC). Agriculture in developing countries must become `climate-smart` in order to cope with the combined challenge of feeding a warmer, more heavily populated world, says a new FAO report.

Climate change is expected to reduce agriculture productivity, stability and incomes in many areas that already experience high levels of food insecurity — yet world agriculture production will need to increase by 70 percent over the coming four decades in order to meet the food requirements of growing world population, according to `Climate-Smart` Agriculture: Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation, and Mitigation.

"Increasing agricultural production, reducing post harvest losses, and improving food distribution channels in the developing world have always been major challenges. Climate change raises the bar significantly — a major transformation of agriculture is needed," said Alexander Mueller, FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources.

"Still, we must not forget that many effective climate-smart practices already exist and could be widely implemented in developing countries, as this report points out," he added.

There are a number of areas where changes in the food production sector are required, according to FAO`s report.

Agriculture needs to produce more food, waste less, and make it easier for farmers to get their produce to consumers.

Farming must become more resilient to disruptive events like floods and droughts — here improving agriculture`s management and use of natural resources like water, land and forests, soil nutrients and genetic resources is key.

The vulnerability of farming communities to climate-related disasters must be reduced, and better warning and insurance systems to help them cope with climate-related problems need to be established.

Finally, agriculture has to find ways to reduce its environmental impacts — including lowering its own greenhouse gas emissions — without compromising food security and rural development.

FAO`s report goes on to highlight examples from around the world of how farmers are already moving to tackle these issues and adopt new, climate-smart practices.

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