Saturday, April 14, 2012

Climate said threat to Asia's 'Rice Bowl'

Seed Daily via UPI: Catastrophic flood-drought cycles could threaten Asia's rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region, researchers say. Rapid climate change and its potential to intensify Southeast Asia's droughts and floods could affect Asia's "Rice Bowl" and lead to millions in crop damages, climate specialists and agricultural scientists warned.

"Climate change endangers crop and livestock yields and the health of fisheries and forests at the very same time that surging populations worldwide are placing new demands on food production," said Bruce Campbell of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (originally the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).

"These clashing trends challenge us to transform our agriculture systems so they can sustainably deliver the food required to meet our nutritional needs and support economic development, despite rapidly shifting growing conditions."

With agriculture being the backbone of most economies in the region, decreasing crop yields would shake countries to the core, researchers said. "In the fields, there is no debate whether climate change is happening or not," said Raj Paroda of the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions. "Now, we must think about what the research community can provide governments to guide effective action....

A rice paddy in South Korea, shot by yong chern lee, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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