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The State of Food and Agriculture 2016

Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2016

The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, represents a new beginning in the global effort to stabilize the climate before it is too late. It recognizes the importance of food security in the international response to climate change, as reflected by many countries focusing prominently on the agriculture sector in their planned contributions to adaptation and mitigation. To help put those plans into action, this report identifies strategies, financing opportunities, and data and information needs. It also describes transformative policies and institutions that can overcome barriers to implementation.

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Adapting to climate change in smallholder agriculture

Most of the world’s poor and hungry are rural people who earn meagre livings from agriculture. In 2010, some 900 million of the estimated 1.2 billion extremely poor lived in rural areas. About 750 million of them worked in agriculture, usually as smallholder family farmers (Olinto et al., 2013). While 200 million rural poor may migrate to towns and cities over the next 15 years, most will remain in the countryside. In that period, the rural population in less developed regions is projected to increase slightly (UN-DESA, 2012), and an estimated 700 million rural people would be living in poverty. Without concerted action to improve rural livelihoods, the eradication of poverty by 2030 will be impossible.

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