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The Looming Food and Water Crisis in Asia

Peter Rogers Harvard University and the National University of Singapore

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I t ti lF dS it A t 2012 22 InternationalFoodSecurityAssessment,201222 ERSReportGFA23,July2012,USDepartmentofAgriculture Overallfoodsecurityisestimatedtoimprovebetween2011and2012.The y p numberoffoodinsecurepeopleisestimatedtodeclinebyabout12million, from814millionin2011to802millionin2012. Asiancountriesareestimatedtoseeasmallincreaseinthenumberoffood Asian countries are estimated to see a small increase in the number of food insecurepeoplefrom2011to2012,buta22percentincreaseinthe distributiongap. Over20122022,thenumberoffoodinsecurepeopleinthe76countries coveredbythisreportisprojectedtoincreaseby37million,or4.6percent, muchlowerthanthe16.7percentincreaseinpopulation.Thedistributiongap isprojectedtoremainunchanged is projected to remain unchanged ThenumberoffoodinsecurepeopleisprojectedtodeclineforAsian countries(2.5percent)includedinthereport,whilethedistributiongap declines by28percent.
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Recent major impacts of the 2012 US drought may make R t j i t f th d ht k these numbers less relevant!
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What about 2022 2050? 2022-2050?


Increasing uncertainty about
total food supplies urban demand for high quality food, climate and water energy. gy

Social and Political uncertainties


prices bio-fuel diversions trade wars

Acceleration f Gl b l A l i of Global Transitions ii


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FIVE GLOBAL TRANSITIONS


Urban Population Transition large and rapidly growing urban populations and large malnourished rural populations p yp q Nutrition Transition rapid shifts in demand for food types and quantities consumed Climate Transition Climate Transition large uncertainty in supply introduced by changing climate, and leading to insecurity of supply and volatility in food prices Agricultural Transition shortage of agricultural land and low productivity Agricultural Transition of agriculture, huge losses in the food chain from farm to consumer leading to industrial scale agricultural systems Energy Transition end of cheap petroleum era and move to renewables
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Fig. 1 Changes in the relative global production of crops and animals since 1961 (when relative production scaled to 1 in 1961).

H C J Godfray et al. Science 2010;327:812-818

Published by AAAS

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GlobalContributionofAgricultureto Greenhouse Gas Emissions GreenhouseGasEmissions Bellarby,etal,2008

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The20th Centurydeclineinfoodprices
P D D D S

S'

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European Environment Agency, Forecast of global water demand, 2010


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EMERGING SOLUTIONS
Population size is not the problem; the distribution of food p p ; among population groups is a major problem Total quantity of food produced is not a problem; meeting the demands f hi h quality diets is a major problem d d for high lit di t i j bl Shortage of land and low ag. productivity are pressing p ob e s; they ca problems; t ey can be resolved by mechanizing the food eso ved ec a g t e ood production systems Reducing supply fluctuations is a major problem requiring modern management of a demand b d food chain relying on d f d d based f d h i l i more efficient ag. inputs, storage, and transport Create large employment in rural areas in response to new non-grain food demands
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SPECIFIC PROGRAMS
Mix horticulture on a substantial scale in areas with strengthened logistics Try out well-tested precision irrigation technology such as center pivots and drip For large community-concessions initially rely on professional managers Climate-proof new developments by providing drought and flood p p yp g g protection Introduce public/private participation in management of state-built and run systems. y Use marketing and logistic skills of modern agribiz to integrate the local production into regional and global food chains and significantly reducing food losses g y g
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SusAgClimate,p.19 28/08/2012

Globalfo oodproduction

GlobalPopulation foodneeds

SafeSpace
Today

2050basedon currenttrends Maximumfood production

Ope eratingwithinthesafespace

Agricultureinduced Climatechange Climate change

Changediet& reducewaste

Reduceagricultural greenhousegas greenhouse gas emissions

Reductionofwateravailabilitydue toclimatechange

BasedonCommissiononSustainableAgricultureand ClimateChange,p.7,2012. 28/08/2012

Adaptation,yield Adaptation, yield improvements& increasedefficiency