A new Flagship Report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explores the global impact of disasters on agriculture and food security. The report has concluded that disasters have had a significant economic impact on agriculture globally, leading to an estimated $3.8 trillion of losses in crops and livestock production in the last 30 years, corresponding to 5 per cent of global agricultural GDP.

Asia has suffered the largest share of losses overall while Africa experienced the highest losses in agricultural added value due to disasters. Cereals, fruits, vegetables, and sugar crops were the most affected products. Climate change, poverty, population growth, pandemics, land use, conflicts, and environmental degradation were identified as the factors that increase disaster risk and vulnerability in agriculture. Small-scale farmers were identified as the most vulnerable to disasters and required support to adopt farm-level disaster risk reduction practices that can prevent losses and enhance resilience. The report recommends proactive and timely interventions in response to forecasted hazards to reduce disaster risk and provide benefits for agriculture and livelihoods, highlighting that for every $1 invested in anticipatory action, rural families can gain up to $7 in benefits.

The report outlines three key priorities: improving data and information on disaster impacts on all subsectors of agriculture; developing and mainstreaming multisectoral and multi-hazard disaster risk reduction approaches; and enhancing investments in resilience. The report also provides examples of strategies and actions for investing in resilience and proactively addressing risks in agriculture.

Read the Press Release Summary from the FAO



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