La resiliencia

The impact of disasters on agriculture: Addressing the information gap

The impact of disasters on agriculture: Addressing the information gap
May 2017

The number and frequency of recorded natural disasters, along with the associated impact and damage to livelihoods and economies (local, national), are increasing significantly. Natural disasters often destroy critical agricultural assets and infrastructure, disrupting production cycles, trade flows and livelihoods means. This affects food security and causes additional disruptions throughout the value chains. Such disasters may slow overall economic growth, especially where agriculture and food production still account for a large share of gross domestic product and employment.

Notwithstanding the many efforts at national and international level, there is limited systematic data and information on the impact of disasters and hazardous events in agriculture and its subsectors – crop, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stipulates that all countries, irrespective of their income level, are prepared to effectively prevent and mitigate any disaster impacts. Where disasters cannot be avoided, countries should act to minimize the devastating effects on livelihoods and the economy. Agriculture must be at the centre of these efforts, given its wide interactions with the environment and direct reliance on natural resources for production.

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