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Climate change and food security in the developing world: Potential of maize and wheat research to expand options for adaptation and mitigation

Author: Hellin, J.
Author: Shiferaw, B.
Author: Cairns, J.E.
Author: Reynolds, M.P.
Author: Ortiz-Monasterio, I.
Author: Bänziger, M.
Author: Sonder, K.
Author: La Rovere, R.
Year: 2012
ISSN: 2006-9774
Abstract: Maize and wheat are two of the most important food crops worldwide. Together with rice, they provide 30% of the food calories to 4.5 billion people in almost 100 developing countries. Predictions suggest that climate change will reduce maize production globally by 3 to 10% by 2050 and wheat production in developing countries by 29 to 34%. This will coincide with a substantial increase in demand for maize and wheat due to rising populations. Maize and wheat research has a crucial role to play in enhancing adaptation to and mitigation of climate change while also enhancing food security. Crop varieties with increased tolerance to heat and drought stress and resistance to pests and diseases are critical for managing current climatic variability and for adaptation to progressive climate change. Furthermore, sustainable agronomic and resource management practices, such as conservation agriculture and improved nitrogen management can contribute to climate change mitigation. There is also a need for better policies and investments in infrastructure to facilitate technology adoption and adaptation. These include investments in irrigation, roads, storage facilities and improved access to markets. There is also a need for policy innovations for stabilizing prices, diversifying incomes, increasing farmer access to improved seeds and finance, and providing safety nets to enhance farmers? livelihood security. This review paper details the potential impacts of climate change on food security, and the key role of improved technologies and policy and institutional innovations for climate change adaptation and mitigation. The focus is on maize and wheat in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Region: Global
Pages: 311-321
Issue: 12
Journal: Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics
Volume: 4
DOI: 10.5897/JDAE11.112
Keywords: Maize
Keywords: Wheat
Keywords: climate change
Keywords: Food security
Keywords: Germplasm
Keywords: Conservation agriculture
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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Maize for CIMMYT Staff
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech. This collection publications is only accessible by CIMMYT staff.
  • Socioeconomics for CIMMYT Staff
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS. This collection publications is only accessible by CIMMYT staff.
  • Wheat for CIMMYT Staff
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech. This collection publications is only accessible by CIMMYT staff.

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