6. Promote sustainable intensification of agriculture.
Protections must also be put into place that will allow vulnerable populations to maintain stability in the face of increasing natural disasters, weather variability, and shifting global food trade, including social safety nets, regional trade growth and smart agriculture subsidies.
Promote weather data collection and distribution.
Changing weather patterns worldwide are threatening today’s food systems. With increasing variability in food sourcing due to climate change, food and beverage companies have already taken actions on this trend by diversifying their suppliers in order to hedge their bets in the face of supply variability. Not only will weather variability create unknowns in year-to-year yields, but regional weather patterns are predicted to change to the extent that the types of crops grown will need to shift geographically to accommodate the changes.
Country leaders will increasingly need to use developments like broadband internet, cell phones, and remote sensors to understand these changes and expected trends, in order to anticipate the predicted shocks as part of their resiliency strategies. This challenge requires that particular attention be given to those geographies where commodities grown today may not be viable in 2050.
Those farmers who shift earlier to crops appropriate to future weather—those with greater financial resources and knowledge—may have an early adopter advantage by better anticipating the effects of these weather changes. To bolster food security, those without these resources will need to be supported in making such weather-based transitions, including both low-tech and high-tech approaches to smart farming.
Photo credit: flickr@Tom Kelly