Climate Change and Agricultural Commodities
Published: November, 2010
Agricultural commodities are any agricultural products which are traded internationally in response to demand. Climate change will have profound impact on agricultural commodities including on their production and their productivity with consequences to both food supply and food security and many of these effects will be seen most in least developed countries (LDCs).
Without doubt, climate change is occurring and is already having dramatic impact on climatic variability, global temperatures and sea level. Climate change will have significant impact on agriculture, reflecting the close link between climate (temperature and precipitation in particular) and productivity and these effects are likely to have greatest effect in the LDCs in the tropical zones where productivity will decrease. A greater frequency of extreme events, heat stress, droughts and floods, will increasingly have negative impact on crop yields. In particular, water scarcity and the timing of water availability will increasingly constrain production.
Climate change will increase pest and disease outbreaks thus negatively affecting food production. Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will also have effects, both detrimental and beneficial, on crop yields. The ability of farmers and rural societies to adapt to these changes is crucial to maintaining an adequate global food supply. While demand is likely to increase, due to rising global population size primarily, climate change will challenge agricultural production and food security (locality of production, supply, volume, quality). By 2080, agriculture output in LDCs may decline by 20% due to climate change and yields could decrease by 15% on average.