Changing climate threatens world’s smallholder farmers

Farmers are already experiencing the effects of climate change according to a new report released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The world’s 500 million smallholder farming households, who often only produce enough food for their families to survive, are projected to be among the worst hit by a changing climate.

Rob Vos, Director of Agricultural Development Economics at FAO, said weather, including rainfall, is becoming “much less predictable effecting farmers quite dramatically so they don’t know what to expect.” For example, he said in parts of Latin America and East Africa, an entire year’s worth of rainfall is now falling in just two weeks, “then the rest of the year you have no rainfall at all,” he said.

Rising temperatures are also leading to the spread of pests and diseases, he noted.

The report also noted that changes in diet, including increased demand for protein from meat, have put added pressures on the environment.

[allAfrica]

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