Tag Archives: climate change

Seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition”: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

A seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition” was held on 01 July 2015 at the BARC Auditorium, Farmgate, Dhaka. The seminar was jointly organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The key speaker of the seminar was Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, FAO Headquarter, Rome, Italy. Before joining FAO, Kostas was teaching Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is a Greek national, he has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Berkley. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Executive Chairman, BARC presented the welcome address. The seminar was introduced by Dr. Mike Robson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh. The designated discussants of the seminar were Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Former Director General, BIDS and Dr. Sazzad Zahir, Executive Director, Economic Research Group (ERG). The eminent economists Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Former Adviser to the Government; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser to the Government and Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF also discussed on the topic in the seminar as guests of honour. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Member, General Economics Division (GED), Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh chaired the seminar. Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis presented a seminar presentation on “Meeting International Hunger Targets: From Commitment to Action”. Dr. Kostas mentioned in his presentation that the number of undernourished people in the world in 2014-16 is 795 million and the number of undernourished people in developing countries is 780 million. He also mentioned that a decline by 167 million in the number of undernourished people was observed in the last 10 years. It was also revealed from his presentation that the highest number (281 million) of undernourished people live in South Asia followed by Sub Saharan Africa (220 million) and East Asia (145 million). He pointed out that MDG1 hunger target to halve the proportion of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was almost reached but the WFS goal to halve the number of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was missed. He also mentioned that 72 countries including Bangladesh achieved MDG1 hunger targets. Dr. Kostas mentioned in the summary of MDG1 hunger target that MDG 1c hunger target is within reach with additional efforts and MDG 1c target had already been reached in 63 countries. He also pointed out in that summary that the WFS goal will not be achieved and the WFS goal was achieved by only 25 countries. He also identified some key factors for success in reducing hunger which are rural markets, economic growth, family farming and social protection. In his presentation, it was also revealed that the poverty headcount ratio in Bangladesh was 24.5 in 2014. It was also found that in Bangladesh the number of undernourished people is 26.3 millions and the prevalence of undernourishment is 16.4% in 2014-16 and thus Bangladesh achieved the MDG1 target. Dr. Kostas observed some environmental components which enabled this success. The enabling environment for this great success comprises of high level commitments, policies, investments (financial and in capacity), governance and evidence-based decision making. Dr. Kostas listed the following points as way forward:
 Strengthen food production diversification
 Invest in public goods and services such as infrastructure
 Adapt to climate change is essential to sustain food production in a sustainable way
 Boost market-driven initiatives and community participation in Social Safety Net programmes
 Improve nutritional outcomes by strengthening the focus on program targeting
 Diversify diets while supporting local productions systems
 Enhance food safety practices; Formulate food safety regulations/standards
 Integrate FSN (Food Security and Nutrition) in all relevant policies and programmes including the new NFSNP-POA and CIP
 Strategic coordination of FSN related policies across sectors (MUCH)
 Integrate FSN, especially Nutrition in Sectoral policies and programmes (MUCH)

The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar(Taken from website of CIRAD)

In the highlands of Madagascar, upland rice growing has developed in recent years thanks to the availability of varieties suited to the prevailing low temperatures in this mountainous region. However, what repercussions is climate change likely to have on this crop, on which a large proportion of the island’s inhabitants depend? By simulating rice production over a century, depending on the extent of climate change and the cropping practices adopted, a team from CIRAD and FOFIFA came up with a surprising result: it was the most pessimistic climate scenario that enabled the best yields.

Global warming could have serious consequences for rice production, and as a result for food security. Precise data on the effects of global warming are few and far between, and primarily concern irrigated rice. Upland rice, on the other hand, has never been studied before.

A team of researchers from CIRAD and the Malagasy National Institute of Agricultural Research (FOFIFA) looked into the impact of global warming on upland rice productivity in the highlands of Madagascar, where the crop has developed recently. Their study covered a ninety-year period, from 2010 to 2099, depending on the cropping system adopted.

Two climate change scenarios

Rice yields were simulated using the CERES-Rice model, which was calibrated and then validated using the FOFIFA 161 rice cultivar, for which a set of experimental data was compiled over a six-year period. The cropping systems comprised two soil tillage systems – hand ploughing and no-tillage – and two nitrogen fertilizer rates – high and low.

In relation to the control, without climate change, two scenarios were tested. In the first, carbon dioxide emissions increased gradually up to 750 ppm and the temperature rose by 0.15 °C per decade. This was the optimistic scenario, in which the increase in carbon dioxide levels and the relatively moderate increase in temperature were supposed to foster rice growth.

In the second scenario, carbon dioxide emissions also rose gradually, but the temperature rose by 0.5 °C per decade and rainfall fell by 0.2 mm a day between December and February. This was the pessimistic scenario, in which the combination of a marked rise in temperature and a reduction in rainfall could have led to severe water stress in rice.

Surprising results

The analysis did not reveal any differences in yields between the soil tillage systems, irrespective of the degree of climate change and fertilizer rate. No-tillage did not improve yields compared to tillage, or the efficacy of water use or nitrogen uptake by the plant. It is likely that in order to significantly improve soil properties, no-tillage requires substantial dry matter production, which is impossible to achieve at the prevailing low temperatures in the region.

However, fertilization did have a significant effect on yields, with a gain of 1500 kg/ha of grain for nitrogen applications of 45 kg/ha. Nitrogen is a major constraint in this type of soil, in which its availability is reduced due to the soil’s poor anion exchange capacity and to leaching.

Rice yields, which were 5478 kg/ha on average, were markedly higher in the pessimistic scenario, with a gain of 576 kg/ha compared to the control. In that scenario, the increase in temperature speeded up flowering and grain maturity, in such a way that the demand for water and nutrients from the plant tallied better with their availability in the soil. Yield variability was lower, and the gap between this scenario and the others continued to grow over the years.

A positive effect on rice productivity

Although the initial hypotheses – crops without biotic constraints or marked weather events – limit the import of the results, global warming could have a positive effect on rice productivity in this cold region, where rice is grown at the lower limit of its temperature tolerance.

Unlike what it likely to happen in southern Asia, where rice is grown at the upper limit of its temperature tolerance and yields are likely to fall overall, the most “pessimistic” forecasts in terms of temperature could lead to a marked increase in yields in the highlands of Madagascar.

I acknowledge that the source of the important article ,’The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar’ is the website of CIRAD which may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.cirad.fr/en/research-operations/research-results/2012/the-beneficial-effects-of-climate-change-on-rice-in-madagascar

The article has been published in this website to share and disseminate the research findings.All readers are invited to read and share their feelings about this article.