Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Latin America and the Caribbean

by: Hector Maletta and Emiliano Maletta

Publication: Autumn 2011 • ISBN 978-1-907132-31-5 • vi + 441pp • £59/$98

 

In this book, the authors examine the impact of projected climate change on future food production and food security in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), to 2100. According to some accounts, climate change could be a devastating prospect for the indigenous peasantry of South America, and for LAC prospects as a food exporting region. However, temperate areas like the Southern Cone and parts of the Andean Highlands might actually benefit from some increase in temperature and the projected rise in precipitation. Demographic and economic drivers might themselves mitigate some of the potential effects of climate change, by reducing the size of the subsistence peasantry and generally improving access to food. And much improvement could be achieved through progress in agricultural technology, even if it progresses at rates lower than the historical record. Agricultural production and access to food may be further improved by measures creating better institutional and regulatory frameworks in the region and by more appropriate policies towards agriculture. However, the authors point out that governance in South America will have to mature before effective policy based responses to climate change can be expected.

Following the introductory chapter, the book begins by examining the general conceptual and methodological issues regarding food security and the analysis of impacts of climate change on food production and security. Present trends in food production and security in the LAC region are examined. Some major crosscutting issues related to climate change are considered: possible future trends in El Nino Southern Oscillation, sea level rise, and the prospects for the Amazon forest. Possible future evolutions of agriculture and food security in the region are explored. Policy recommendations for public authorities, covering support for agricultural production and guidelines for reducing poverty and enhancing access to food for the most vulnerable groups, are set out. The final chapter summarises the book's main conclusions.

 

Contents:

1. Introduction
2. The concept of food security
3. Climate change: concepts and projections
4. Impacts of climate change on agriculture
5. Food security trends in Latin America
7. Major crosscutting issues for LAC climate change
8. Climate change and agriculture in Latin America
9. Impact of climate change on LAC agriculture
10. Prospects of food security
11. Policy issues
12. Conclusions
References

 

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about the authors...

Dr Hector Maletta is a social scientist and economist. He was educated at the Faculty of Economics and Social Science, Catholic University of Buenos Aires; the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires; and at the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, University of Bologna (Italy). He has been a Professor of Economics at the Universidad del Pacífico (Lima, Peru) and is currently Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Social Science, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires (Argentina). He is also a frequent advisor on agriculture and food security for FAO and other international organizations, working widely in many countries of Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as in UN programmes with worldwide scope. He has worked and published on agriculture, food security, environmental issues and the impact of the environment (droughts, floods and natural disasters) on agriculture and food security.

Emiliano Maletta is an agricultural scientist, educated at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His graduate studies and research have centred on plant eco-physiology in semi-arid agriculture (University of Buenos Aires), environmental economics (Polytechnic University, Valencia, Spain) and biomass-based renewable energy (Polytechnic University, Madrid). His main research interests are the environmental impact of agriculture; rain-fed and irrigated crops in semi-arid environments; renewable sources of energy; and agricultural development. He currently conducts research at CIEMAT (Research Centre on Energy, Environment and Technology, Madrid, Spain) on solid fuels based on lignocelullosic (herbaceous and woody) plant biomass for electricity production, focusing his work in their potential viability and environmental impact.