by Vanessa Meadu
In Vietnam, everywhere you look there is food. Before dawn, people haul away huge bags of produce, meat, fish and flowers to later sell on the city streets. On every sidewalk of every town, people are chopping, washing, cooking food. And from morning to night, folks are eating at makeshift pavement restaurants, or grabbing refreshment from a steaming or sizzling mobile stall, perched on the backs of their motorbikes.
This country takes food and agriculture very seriously, and has made incredible progress in the last few decades, going from importing most of its food to becoming a major food exporter, and a leading global rice producer and exporter. In recent years neglected crops like cassava have become major income generators in Vietnam, contributing to poverty alleviation.
Much of this growth is due to government and international investment in Vietnam's small-scale farmers. But climate change is a hazard to this progress. At worst, it threatens millions of people who depend on agriculture, from farmers in the Mekong Delta to consumers in the Philippines and beyond who depend on cheap rice for nutrition. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
Cassava has long been understood as being one of the most resilient crops in the tropics, surviving in a challenging environment that is both hot and dry. Impressive as this is, new research from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) points to cassava actually thriving in a warmer climate, making it the “Rambo of food crops”. The newly released research results have been published in a special edition of the scientific journal Tropical Plant Biology where it concludes that the cassava root will come to brush off the expected temperature rises of up to 2 degrees Celsius in Africa by 2030 and could even prove to be more productive thanks to the warming climate. Seeing that it very seldom happens, climate change could prove to bring something positive to the region for a change. Read more »
For cassava, a root crop of South American origin that is grown across the tropics, substantial increases in rainfall—predicted for nearly half of the world's cassava growing area—are a primary cause for alarm. Zoom into a map of current climate constraints (water-logging stress) of cassava in South America.
This research comes from new studies on "climate proofing" key crops across the tropics by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which highlight how climate change will impact crops that are critical to food security in the developing world, and what adaptation strategies can help reduce these impacts. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)