By Biodun Busari
The effects of climate change are projected to reduce farming production by 50 per cent in the next 30 years, according to a report by European Environmental Agency (EEA).
The report focused on important climate change problems facing agriculture in the European Union (EU) and its position for the years ahead.
It also offered an overview of how EU policies and programmes address climate change adaptation and includes examples of feasible and successful adaptation actions.
The EEA appraisal is steady with the significant messages from the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change and land.
According to the report, “Climate impacts have led to poorer harvests and higher production costs, affecting price, quantity and the quality of farmed products in parts of Europe.
“While climate change is projected to improve conditions for growing crops in parts of northern Europe, the opposite is true for crop productivity in southern Europe.
“According to projections using a high-end emission scenario, yields of non-irrigated crops like wheat, corn and sugar beet are projected to decrease in southern Europe by up to 50 % by 2050. This could result in a substantial drop in farm income by 2050, with large regional variations.”
“In a similar scenario, farmland values are projected to decrease in parts of southern Europe by more than 80 % by 2100, which could result in land abandonment. Trade patterns are also impacted, which in turn affects agricultural income.
“While food security is not under threat in the EU, increased food demand worldwide could exert pressure on food prices in the coming decades,” the report added.
The adverse impacts of climate change are already being felt across Europe. Extreme weather, including recent heatwaves in many parts of the EU, is already causing economic losses for farmers and for the EU’s agriculture sector.
However, EEA said, “Future climate change might also have some positive effects due to longer growing seasons and more suitable crop conditions, but these effects will be outweighed by the increase in extreme events negatively affecting the sector.”
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