Farm output may drop 30pc in S Asia by 2050 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 06, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 06, 2008

UN Summit

Farm output may drop 30pc in S Asia by 2050

ActionAid sees Bangladesh already affected by climate change

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Agricultural sector in Bangladesh is already affected by global climate change, needing support for climate resilient agriculture and for overall adaptation, ActionAid said in a report at the UN summit on climate change in Poland.
Citing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which had said South Asia might experience a 30 percent drop in agricultural production by 2050, ActionAid said the slide is already evident.
The report of the international non-government development organisation noted that food security is under threat in many regions of the world, which will only worsen as the full extent of the impact of climate change unfolds.
Referring to the food price situation, the report stated, poor people of least developed countries (LDC) have been spending almost 50 to 80 percent of their total income on food.
Food price volatility, which could be compounded by increasing climate change variability, is likely to be a serious problem for the foreseeable future, the report added.
The report titled 'Time is now -- lessons from farmers adapting to climate change', mentioned case studies from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Malawi and Vietnam.
It was released in the conference centre in Poznan, Poland, suggesting an adaptation plan in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), advocating funding for it.
The Bangladesh part of the report titled 'Bangladesh: increasing farmers resilience to cope with external shocks' noted that farmers of the country are facing devastating impact of climate change, and support for sustainable climate resilient agriculture is key to enabling them in increasing food security and for adapting to the changes.
The report disclosed that women are selling properties in villages of Bangladesh to feed their families. "The burden of coping falls heavily on the shoulders of women," it stated.
Farmers of Bangladesh are adapting to the climate change by raising their vegetable beds, increasing retention of soil moisture through mulching and increasing the amount of organic materials in the soil, while some are modifying their cropping patterns, the report added.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh delegation to the summit pointed out yesterday at an official meeting that the current donation based multilateral funding is clearly not adequate to cover the expected adaptation cost for the LDCs, compared to the estimated need.
The delegation demanded speeding up of fund disbursement to LDCs for dealing with the most urgent requirements.
"We've prepared NAPA, the National Action Plan on Adaptation, in 2005 which identified 15 projects that needed to be taken up urgently. Unfortunately three years have already passed while we've just started implementing the first project," said AKM Rezajul Kabir, secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries, the secretary said adaptation has been proven as a crucial factor for survival of the Bangladeshi people.
At the meeting the delegation also advocated for setting up the International Climate Change Adaptation Centre in Bangladesh, under the auspices of UNFCCC.

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