Food Security, Climate Change and Trade: Indo-Norwegian research project

Norway Embassy, India, March 2014

Last updated: 13.03.2014 // Climate Change affects agricultural output, and trade rules and infrastructure affect our food’s journey from farmer to fork. A team of Indian and Norwegian researchers is studying the implications.

The Indian Parliament in 2013 enacted the National Food Security Act, which would guarantee minimum quantity of food grains for 75% of rural and 50% of urban population at subsidized price. The program is considered as the world’s largest food security program, covering two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Indians. Climate change is having effects on food production, and the conditions for trade along the value chain from farmer to consumer will influence the Government’s efficiency in fulfilling the promise of this new legislation.

It is therefore imperative to study the interactions of food security, climate change and trade in the Indian context. A consortium of Indian and Norwegian institutions is implementing a project titled “Food Security in India: The Interaction of Climate Change, Economic Politics & Trade (FOODSEC).” The partners are Norway’s National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), CUTS International and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The project has three major research questions:

  • what are the effects of climate change on agricultural production;
  • will improvements in Indian food distribution reduce climate risk; and
  • what are the combined effects of climate change and trade patterns on household access to food.

The research project will also have an advocacy component based on the findings. The project is supported by the Research Council of Norway through its INDNOR programme, with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A project workshop was held on 11th March 2014 in New Delhi, where the Embassy was represented by Mr. Håvard Hugås, Counsellor for Energy and Climate Change. He commended the cross-disciplinary approach of the research, which should give useful insights to policy-makers. From the Embassy it was also pointed out that the themes of food security and climate change was a top political priority in both countries. The FOODSEC project is complimentary to existing cooperation between Indian and Norwegian institutions through ClimaAdapt and EVA projects on climate change adaptation. Furthermore, the Embassy supports climate modelling (TERI and the Bjerknes Centre) and integrated water management (the World Bank’s SAWI program) which are also relevant to these themes.
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