Food Security and Climate Changes Sri Lanka

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  • 2009

    Food Security in Current Era in relation with Climate Changes

    Sri Lanka

    We are living at a moment in history that is unique with respect to

    the unprecedented progress in science, technology, and

    communication that has been achieved in the past three decades.

    These scientific and technological achievements are formidable

    accomplishments with significant potential for creating future

    sustainable and equitable well-being around the world. But today

    we live in a world of disparities, where a fifth of the global

    population lives in poverty and hunger.

    In this context, it seems a paradox that there is little international

    or national commitment to the development of the agricultural sectors of developing

    countries. Agriculture was the foundation of social and economic progress in the developed

    countries, and to this day it has extremely powerful political lobbies in these nations, in

    contrast, in many developing countries, where as much as 70% of the population derives their

    livelihoods directly or indirectly from agriculture, the weakest political lobbies are those of

    the agricultural and rural sectors.

    Food production systems interact with land resources, forest ecosystems, and biodiversity.

    Maintaining the fertility and multi-functionality of soils, preserving genetic diversity, adopting

    effective water resources management and protection measures, and adapting to climate

    change are critical to enhancing agricultural production.

    Climate change is likely to affect people in Asia more than anywhere else in the world. There

    are ample evidences to show the change of the variability of hydrological regime and

    increased temperature in the environment even though solid facts are yet to be found in

    confirming the persistent uni-directional change in climatological events. The situation is

    similar in most of the countries in Asia and worse in South Asia including Sri Lanka. It is

    evident that the food crop production in Asia, particularly in South Asia has been significantly

    affected by the change of climate. Frequent natural calamities in the Asian region aggravate

    the problem further.

    Most of our food imports are procured from Asian countries and there is an obvious

    reduction in agricultural production in the region. It is unavoidable that any country where

    there is a deficit between production and consumption would face a serious food crisis and

    Sri Lanka is no exception. More emphasis should be placed on the production of staple food

  • Indu Abeyratne (DRR Specilaist) Sri Lanka red Cross Society

    in the policy frame work and the government should promote the production of rice by

    creating markets in the rural areas, build infrastructures that support the farmers to produce

    more, continue to provide limited subsidies for the fertilizers while promoting the use of

    organic manure, avail loans to farmers, improvement and increase yields through bio-

    fortification and make policies that motivate farmers to produce more rice.

    Climate change, air and water pollution, pests and diseases, economic and social turmoil, and

    even genetically modified crop contamination do not recognize or respect political and

    geographical boundaries. Without responsible decision making, compromises, and even

    sacrifice, the children born in the wake of the 21st century may face a bleak future indeed. We

    must begin now to consider our response to global changes and challenges, because the

    actions takenor not takentoday will affect the quality of life for us and for generations to



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