About the Project
The project is a scoping study which would assess the perceptions of stakeholders, especially small and marginal farmers, about the need for financial and technological measures based on intra-regional/international cooperation for mitigating the adverse impact of climate change on food security
Climate change affects agricultural yield in tropical countries, such as the South Asian countries of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in two major ways — a reduction in the length of the growing season; and increase/unanticipated change in the frequency/geographical incidence of floods and droughts which leads to both destruction of crops and reduction in cropped area. The intensity and nature of climate change impacts vary from one country to another and even in the same country from one region to another. Nevertheless, this has a negative effect on small farmers who are net producers (reducing their means of livelihood) as well as subsistence farmers who are net consumers of food grains (by forcing them to buy more from the market, at a per unit price which rises over time because of the mentioned negative impact on yields, to satisfy their needs). Such farmers, being close to the poverty line, face the risk of falling below the poverty line from a non-poor situation or suffering an intensification of poverty.
The long term objective of the study is to help tackle food insecurity and livelihood threats in South Asia caused by declining crop yields resulting from climate change and other factors through change in cultivation practices and appropriate measures to facilitate food banks
The one year long study (January to December 2010) covers four countries in its scope – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. For the purpose of carrying out project activities, in each of the four project countries one local partner will be identified and engaged to support CUTS in undertaking a survey of farmers and facilitate survey of other stakeholders such as grassroots rural non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research and extension agencies, as well as agronomists and rural sociologists.
Food insecurity and associated poverty continue to be a daunting problem facing all LDCs and developing countries. The current food insecurity, however, has two dimensions to it, the first arising out of lack of effective demand – a developing country characteristic for a long time now – and the second due to reduced productivity and declining crop yield.
In the coming period, it has been projected by numerous studies that the impact of climate change on agriculture will be deep and extensive. It will aggravate global food security and thus can lead to many falling below the poverty line. The reported increase in global warming is causing greater climatic volatility, such as changed precipitation patterns and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as typhoons and heavy rainfall as well as flooding, and droughts. It has also led to a rise in mean global sea levels. This would have serious consequences for food security and poverty the world over, especially in South Asia.
griculture is the main source of livelihood for most rural people in South Asian region and it is also the human activity most affected by climate change. Studies indicate that production of rice, maize and wheat in the past few decades has declined in many parts of South Asia due to increasing water stress arising mainly from increasing temperature and reduction in the number of rainy days and crop yields are projected to decline further.
outh Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and India will be severely affected by this climate change problem. Moreover, flood-prone areas are expected to experience significant land degradation and loss due to changing climate. Considering the pressure of fast population growth and urbanisation, the risk of hunger is expected to remain extremely high in South Asian countries. Climate change impacts on agriculture may threaten not only food security, but also national economic productivity of the region.
Asia is an important continent in terms of its capacity and potential in ensuring regional and global food security. Within Asia, South Asia is one of the most important regions, with India alone contributing over 20% of the total global production. Ensuring sustained food grain production is, therefore, not only in the interest of South Asian countries but it is also needed for ensuring global food security.
To ensure food security in South Asian, the need for SAARC food bank was realised more than 20 years ago, with the first step taken towards establishment of such a unit in 1988. However, not much progress has been made in this respect despite initiatives by various countries and signing of agreement during the fourteenth SAARC Summit in New Delhi in 2007. Overall efforts for securing an effective food bank for the region have to be scaled up.
- To understand the real causes of decline in crop yields in the South Asian Region
- To deduce whether awareness exists among stakeholders in South Asia about the negative impact of climate change on crop yields
- To ascertain stakeholder perceptions regarding decline in crop yields in South Asian regions,
- To ascertain the measures required to ensure sustainable livelihoods of small and marginal farmers
- To determine stakeholders’ perception about effectiveness of international cooperation in technology transfer and whether its adaptation and other related activities can be helpful in alleviating the negative impact of climate change on agricultural production in South Asia
- To ascertain if there is any need role to reform the multilateral/regional system for trade/aid in food grains to increase the volume of food grain trade/aid.
- Generation of information/knowledge about factors that lead to crop yield decline such as climate change and barriers encountered by small and marginal farmers in earning their livelihoods and that which facilitates distinctions between these barriers and others
- Generation of knowledge about perceptions of farmers regarding the impact of climate change on agricultural yields
- Generation of knowledge about perceptions of rural NGOs/agronomists/rural sociologists regarding the impact of climate change and other factors on agricultural yields
- Evaluation of mentioned stakeholder perceptions about promoting intra-regional and international cooperation in regard to setting up of food banks and other issues such as South-South and North-South technology transfer and subsequent adaptation of technologies transferred. This would in turn enable correct decision making in regard to whether such transfer should be facilitated
- Evaluation of perceptions of local and international think tanks in regard to a programme for revamping the system for multilateral trade and aid in food grains and other agricultural products to facilitate an increase in the volumes of such aid and trade.
Afghan Development Association (ADA) has been moving through periods of extensive and intensive development work since its establishment in Pakistan during 1989, working mostly in refugee camps. Today ADA has a visible footprint across various regions of Afghanistan; working, collaborating, coordinating and supporting variety of local, national and international actors to one day effectively realize its vision, eradication of poverty from Afghanistan.
Practical Action Bangladesh
Practical Action Bangladesh has evolved over time to meet the challenges of poverty, inequality and vulnerability. Deeply committed to helping the poor in Bangladesh, its work on appropriate technology as a means to improve poor peoples livelihoods, has been flexible and responsive to local conditions and needs.
SDPI was founded in August 1992 on the recommendation of the Pakistan National Conservation Strategy (NCS), also called Pakistan’s Agenda 21. The NCS placed Pakistan’s socio-economic development within the context of a national environmental plan. This highly acclaimed document, approved by the Federal Cabinet in March 1992, outlined the need for an independent non-profit organization to serve as a source of expertise for policy analysis and development, policy intervention, and policy and program advisory services. SDPI is registered under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860.
The Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (Cecoedecon) was founded by a small group of young, committed social workers to provide immediate relief to the victims of devastating floods in Jaipur district in 1982. From a very modest beginning as a relief agency, Cecoedecon has evolved into a civil society organization pursuing integrated participatory development and advocating human rights. The organization has an authentic and informed perspective of micro-macro dynamics. The criterion for undertaking interventions is that they should lead to community self-reliance and empowerment. Thus, its work centers on the unfulfilled needs and ignored rights of partner communities.
- Small and marginal farmers of selected South Asian countries
- National governments of selected South Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan)
- Rural grassroots civil society organisations in the selected South Asian countries
- Researchers, media, academia, think tanks and lobbies working on agricultural issues
- Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia
- “A Scoping Study on the Impact of Climate Change and Food Insecurity on Poverty in South Asia”
June 27, 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh
January 11, 2011, Magnolia, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi