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Extreme Weather & Geopolitics Major Drivers of Increasing ‘Food Shocks’

January 29, 2019 |

Flooded corn field in Illinois. Robert Kaufmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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“The research, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, identified 226 food production shocks across 134 nations over the 53-year period, noting an increasing frequency of shocks across all sectors on a global scale.

Lead author Richard Cottrell said  was a major cause of shocks to crops and livestock, highlighting the vulnerability of  production to climate and weather volatility. “In recent decades we have become increasingly familiar with images in the media of disasters such as drought and famine around the world,” Mr Cottrell said.

“Our study confirms that food production shocks have become more frequent, posing a growing danger to global food production. We looked at the full range of  systems, covering crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture.”

“We found that crops and livestock are slightly more shock-prone than fisheries and aquaculture, and some regions, such as South Asia, are more frequently affected than others. “While the number of food shocks fluctuates from year to year, the long-term trend shows they are happening more often.”

Mr Cottrell said the increasing frequency of food shocks gave people and communities less recovery time between events and eroded their resilience…”

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