Climate Change

New FAO report on the importance of managing climate risks across agrifood value chains


It is widely acknowledged that changes in rainfall patterns, temperature, seasonal trends and more extreme weather events pose myriad threats to agrifood systems worldwide, with impacts being felt at all stages of the value chain. Climate change and weather extremes disrupt activities and livelihoods; exacerbate food loss and waste and worsen food insecurity and malnutrition by adversely affecting all pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization and stability.  

A new report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Managing risks to build climate-smart and resilient agrifood value chains – The role of climate services calls for an integrated approach to mitigating climate risks across key stages of the agrifood value chain.  

Following the publication of the first-ever global assessment of climate services in agriculture at the end of last year, this new report builds on FAO’s latest research into climate services. 

Bringing timely and tailored climate information to producers and other decision-makers is key to supporting early action against hazards, to build resilient and risk-free agrifood systems. However, the lack of research is delaying progress, with gaps in the assessment of climate services found at harvest, storage, processing, transport and market stages of the agrifood value chain.  

The report assesses investment opportunities, showcasing the most effective climate-smart agriculture practices and climate services in agrifood value chains, including those developed by FAO. 

By assessing current and future risks at each stage of the value chain, it is possible to prioritize different adaptation and/or mitigation options and identify the most appropriate investments. An integrated approach recognizes the interdependence of actors and activities across the value chain, crucial to avoid tackling a particular risk in isolation.  

The report covers: 

  • the concepts of climate risk, climate services and climate resilience in the context of agrifood value chains; 

  • key climate hazards and impacts across agrifood value chains; 

  • concrete examples of climate services that support climate resilience as one of numerous potential investment options for enhancing climate risk management across agrifood value chains; 

  • case studies on climate services and climate-smart agriculture practices tailored to specific food commodities and agrifood value chains in different regions and countries – with attention given to smallholders, including women and youth and Indigenous Peoples, who are particularly affected by the impacts of climate change; 

  • barriers to the delivery of climate services and climate-resilient measures across agrifood value chains;  

  • policy recommendations and investment opportunities for the development of climate services to “climate-proof” agrifood value chains. 

The publication provides lessons learned and entry points for future research and empirical studies. The document also provides a wider set of recommendations for ensuring climate resilience across agrifoodvalue chains: 

  • Identify climate risks to agrifood value chains and potential solutions through climate services in nationally determined contributions and National Adaptation Plans.  

  • Scale up equitable access to information and communication tools.  

  • Build the capacity of value chain actors to use climate services and communication tools.  

  • Integrate climate risk assessments into project design and business plans within agrifood value chains.  

  • Strengthen social protection systems and foster climate-resilient certification schemes to underscore the return on investment.  

  • Mainstream climate change discussions, including climate services, in forums addressing sustainable agrifood value chains.  

The publication was published May 13, 2022 during an event, “Climate-Smart Agriculture: challenges and opportunitiesorganized by FAO’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment. The event showcased activities and shared outcomes from the International Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (IACSA) project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition and implemented by FAO to promote the principles of climate-smart agriculture and contribute to overcoming barriers in the adoption and development of climate-smart agriculture on the ground.  

Take a look
at the publication