During the last decades, the world has faced an increasing number of challenges that are threatening humanity’s well-being and existence. Scientists from all over the world struggle to solve such problems as global climate change and greenhouse effect, emergence of unknown diseases, rapidly growing population with unequal allocation of wealth and food, etc. Thus, this paper will examine the problem of world’s shortage of food supply and discus some approaches the scientists use to address it.
Some scientists argue that food shortage may become the most critical problem by the middle of this century. However, all global problems are interconnected; therefore, one problem cannot be treated as a single issue necessitating deep analysis of other external forces. On the one hand, the future projection shows a growing earth population that “will increase 30 percent to 9 billion people by mid-century (ScienceDaily, 2014). It means that to satisfy a growing demand for food, there will be needed a 70 percent increase in its production. On the other hand, problems of extreme weather conditions disrupting farming along with air and soil pollution create a great challenge for raising food supply. The US agricultural productivity leveraged by 1.2 percent from 1992 to 2007 in average; thus, the scientists are afraid that the world will not be able to meet the future need for food. “The increases currently projected for crop production from biotechnology, genetics, agronomics and horticulture will not be sufficient to meet food demand” (ScienceDaily, 2014).
The global organisation CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is dealing with the problem of food shortages by looking from different angles at food production systems and climate change. Combining social research with climate modelling helps to understand how climate can affect the world’s farming. The company’s Flagship Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) Practices addresses the challenge of a climate-smart farming’s global spread by partnering at all levels to promote high technologies, portfolios and best practices among farmers; building adaptive resilience to climate changes; and developing innovative incentives for scaling out.
As for the technologies and practices, CCAFS provides real evidence of the benefits its climate-smart villages can bring to the planet, launched in 2011 in West and East, South Asia, Latin America and Southeast Asia. There are 15 villages located in high-risk climate change areas. Combining innovative technologies, of policies and institutions, climate information services, support as well as local development and adaptation plans, CCAFS encourages all village members to undertake new ways of farming involving women and other vulnerable community representatives. Such methods as effective management of soil, carbon, and precious use of fertilizers and energy-efficient machinery are applied in a climate friendly farming. For example, in “Kenya’s Lower Nyando valley, farmers are discovering the value of agroforestry, with alleys of maize, sorghum and other crops sandwiched between rows of multi-purpose trees that stabilize and enrich the soil” (CCAFS, 2015).
As for the CSA’s methods of the adaptive resilience to climate variability and change at a global scale, they necessitate an enabling environment. This also includes local government support and understanding on a regional governmental level of the way they can promote CSA tailored for the needs of that region. Thus, CCAFS provides the decision support tools helping to evaluate cost-effectiveness of CSA initiatives as well as local adaptation planning. “A suite of tools for different purposes and contexts will be developed and applied to support donors, governments and investors make better choices for CSA-related programming” (CCAFS, 2015). For example, in Latin America where climate accounts for 30-40 percent of production variability, CCAFS is implementing a new project of a novel use of information communication technologies and Big Data principles to create a two-way Climate-Site-Specific Management System (CSMS) based on crowdsourcing and secondary databases in various regions. It is assumed that CSMS project will save more than $90 millions of inputs into the rice systems while producing 150 000 tons of rice more in four years (CCAFS, 2015).
As for innovative incentives for scaling out, CCAFS allows better understanding of financial and other incentives for the adoption of CSA. Farmers and local governments are informed “how new finance streams, and value-chain innovations might best be harnessed to deliver benefits” generating research evidence how successful CSA projects already increased financial value of such investments (CCAFS, 2015). The main activities are: incentives for CMA farming and linkages with national policies; certification of vehicles and value chains; analyses of impact investment.
In conclusion, the humanity is facing many global problems that are threatening people’s lives. However, even though these problems are alarming and difficult to deal with, prudent science activities and deep understanding can help if not to eliminate these problems then reduce their effects on humans. Global scientific research programs like CCAFS’ CSA climate-smart village have already shown positive evidence of managing such issues as food shortages; however, the main challenge is to roll these programs on a global scale.