Global Food Security Index 2019: Climate Change And Natural Disasters Pose A Significant Threat To Asia Pacific’s Food SecurityPosted Mar 15, 2020
Global Food Security Index 2019: Climate Change And Natural Disasters Pose A Significant Threat To Asia Pacific’s Food Security
Agriculture is threatened by climate-related natural disasters such as flooding, rising sea levels and increased temperatures
SINGAPORE, Mar. 16, 2020 — Today, Corteva Agriscience (NYSE: CTVA) announced the release of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2019 - Asia Pacific report, which examines the state of food systems of 23 countries in the region. The GFSI, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, presents an in-depth analysis into how the core pillars of affordability, availability, quality, natural resources and resilience impact the level of food security in the region.
For the second consecutive year, Singapore maintained its position as the most food secure country in Asia Pacific and globally. The country’s success was attributed to factors including low agricultural import tariffs, presence of quality food safety nets and high expenditure on agricultural R&D. Australia and New Zealand ranked second and third respectively in the region. The report revealed significant disparity in food security across the region, with much of the region dominated by emerging economies with lower levels of economic development which scored below average in the index.
Top five countries in Asia Pacific
Food security score (out of 100)
1. Singapore 87.4
2. Australia 81.4
3. New Zealand 78.8
4. Japan 76.5
5. Malaysia 73.8
The growing risk of climate-related disasters
The GFSI 2019 Asia Pacific report revealed that the region’s ability to sustain agricultural production is threatened by climate-related natural disasters such as flooding, rising sea levels and increased temperatures. Asia Pacific was also shown to lag in its ability to adapt its agricultural sector to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, with Vietnam, Tajikistan and Nepal amongst the lowest scoring countries in the world in adaptive capabilities to climate threats.
Food systems are particularly vulnerable in low-lying countries such as Singapore and Vietnam, which are amongst the most exposed countries in the world to rising sea levels. In Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are at risk of severe droughts due to declining rainfall and rising temperatures, which can threaten food production.
The results highlight the need for investment into early-warning initiatives, forecasting systems and climate-smart agriculture technology such as hybrid seeds, crop protection technologies and digital applications which can help break the food-climate trade off by making farming more resilient to extreme conditions.
The need for diversified, nutrient-rich foods
Food diversification is a critical issue in many Asian countries due to a heavy dependence on rice as a primary food source, highlighting an urgent need to provide populations with access to a more balanced diet to prevent malnutrition.
The high costs of nutrient-rich foods are a common deterrent to poor households, leading to common deficiencies in vitamin A and iron throughout the region. In Bangladesh and Cambodia, the availability of vitamin A is more than three-times below the recommended daily intake for men and less than half for women; whilst an iron-deficient diet in South Asia has led to high rates of anemia, contributing to a third of all anemia-related maternal deaths globally.
Food is widely affordable across Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific scored highly for food affordability, with the majority of countries experiencing significant improvements in their scores compared to 2018 – most notably, in the Philippines, Laos and Thailand.
These scores were attributed to strong government support for food safety net programs in developing countries, which function as important sources of food security for vulnerable families. Wealthier nations such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand demonstrated a strong ability to keep costs affordable, which is partly attributed to their low agricultural import tariffs.
Mr Peter Ford, President of Asia Pacific, Corteva Agriscience, said “The Global Food Security Index - Asia Pacific report clearly highlights the actions we must take to safeguard our food security against the threat of climate change, whilst increasing agricultural output to feed a growing global population. We firmly believe in advancing climate-smart agriculture and fostering deep relationships with farmers, communities and other stakeholders to rise to the challenge of achieving global food security, while conserving resources, protecting the environment and sustaining the land.”
About the Global Food Security Index
The GFSI is a comprehensive assessment of the state of global food security developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), supported by Corteva Agriscience. The Index, released annually, provides a common framework for understanding the root causes of food insecurity – the state of being without access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life – using a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model. It examines changes in the global environment and food systems of 113 countries, measuring them against three core pillars – affordability, accessibility, quality and a fourth adjustment factor, natural resources and resilience. Now in its 8th edition, GFSI has become a policy benchmark for governments, a research tool for academia and a country diagnostic tool for the private sector in investment.
Explore the GFSI, visit https://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019 and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
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