The State of Food and Agriculture 2016

The FAO report underscores that success in transforming food and agriculture systems will largely depend on urgently supporting smallholders in adapting to climate change. Developing countries are home to around half a billion smallholder farm families who produce food and other agricultural products in greatly varying agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions. Solutions have to be tailored to those conditions; there is no one-size-fits-all fix. The FAO report describes alternative, economically viable ways of helping smallholders to adapt and making the livelihoods of rural populations — often the most exposed to the downside risks of climate change - more resilient.

The report provides evidence that adoption of ‘climate-smart' practices, such as the use of nitrogen-efficient and heat-tolerant crop varieties, zero-tillage and integrated soil fertility management would boost productivity and farmers' incomes. Widespread adoption of nitrogen-efficient practices alone would reduce the number of people at risk of undernourishment by more than 100 million, the report estimates.

It also identifies avenues to lower emission intensity from agriculture. Water-conserving alternatives to the flooding of rice paddies for example, can slash methane emissions by 45 percent, while emissions from the livestock sector can be reduced by up to 41 percent through the adoption of more efficient practices.

FAO's road map also identifies policies and financing opportunities for the sustainable intensification of agriculture.

About the series
The State of Food and Agriculture, FAO's major annual flagship publication, aims at bringing to wider audience balanced science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture. Each edition of the report contains a comprehensive, yet easily accessible, overview of selected topic of major relevance for rural and agriculture development and for global food security.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Media Type: