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Strategy needed to mitigate threat of global shortages.

Abu Dhabi Global food security faces an uncertain future and food supplies are increasingly threatened by scarcity and degradation of natural resources -- namely water and land -- as well as by the growing competition between agricultural, domestic and municipal uses of water and energy.

Mohammad Qadi, President of the General Council of Agricultural Development and Chair of the Global Water Partnership Technical Committee in Morocco, warned that there is a need to handle climate change whose effects are negative on agriculture and water resources.

"Global agriculture will need to cope with the burden of climate change, whose impact may include the severe contraction of global food production potential, and yields of major crops like wheat and maize falling globally," said Qadi.

He added: "Severe weather events such as droughts and floods are also likely to intensify, causing greater crop and livestock losses. The implications are that food prices and their volatility will rise. The 2007--2008 food crisis was an early sign of things to come." He pointed out that feeding the world's growing population and finding enough resources to grow food have continued to be basic yet sizeable challenges.

Big tasks

"These are enormous tasks because the required increase in production to meet future needs will have to be achieved with fewer land and water resources," stressed Qadi.

He reiterated that many countries lack the luxury of unused resources and that some regions face severe and increasing resource scarcity. "South Asia, the Near East and North Africa have exhausted much of their rain-fed land, and depleted a significant share of their renewable waters," he pointed out.

Severe weather events such as droughts and floods are also likely to intensify, causing greater crop and livestock losses."

Mohammad Qadi

President, General Council of Agricultural Development

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 28, 2012
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