New Challenges in Agriculture in the Face of the El Ni񯠐henomenon

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Credit Credit: Ligia Calderon / FAO

Opinion
  • by Mario Lubetkin (santiago)Friday, September 01, 2023
  • Mario Lubetkin is FAO Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • SANTIAGO, Sep 01 (IPS) – The climatic phenomenon known as “El Nino” is intensifying its presence worldwide. The Below-normal rainfall is expected in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, northern Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, inland Peru, Guyana, and Suriname.

If production decreases due to El Nino, there will be less food availability, and the income of the most vulnerable households that live and eat on what they produce will be reduced.

In case of rainfall deficit, food security will be affected, reducing the cultivated area, with effects on harvests and increased death, malnutrition, and diseases in livestock.

On the other hand, excess rainfall associated with El Nino will also lead to crop failure. It will also deteriorate soils, cause death and disease in animals, and damage key infrastructure.

It is critical to act now to reduce potential humanitarian needs. Protecting agriculture will directly impact food security and help prevent the escalation of food crises in the region.

Meeting this challenge requires a robust strategy that addresses risks in the broader context of global climate change.

FAO is implementing proactive actions to reduce potential humanitarian hardship in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador in the Dry Corridor in Central America.

These actions include support for water management, storage, and harvesting; micro-irrigation systems; safe seed storage systems; use of resistant varieties; prophylaxis and livestock feed, among others. We The The initiative, announced as part of Humanitarian Assistance Month, aims to support 1.16 million people in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela.

Without these efforts to reduce risk and act early, there will be a perpetual need for urgent humanitarian action and a growing risk of deterioration into new emergencies.

With a more coordinated effort by international organizations, governments, the private sector, regional organizations, civil society, and communities, we can cope with events like El Nino and better protect livelihoods and food security, leaving no one behind.

(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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