SAVE FOOD: Initiative mondiale de réduction des pertes et du gaspillage alimentaires

Agriculture sector losses in the context of emergency and the corresponding impact on food security

23 May 2018

A comprehensive newly released report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) reviews the linkages between the levels of food loss that occurs in food supply chains disrupted by disaster and crises and the cascading impact on food insecurity at the global and national levels. The publication titled “The Impact of Disasters and Crises on Agriculture and Food Security 2017” was launched recently at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Disasters such as drought, food chain crises like pest and disease outbreaks and conflicts and protracted crises caused by unrest or civil war, result in considerable economic losses to farmers and other actors in the food supply chain.

In the context of drought, the report highlights that agriculture is the sector most vulnerable to losses. Disproportionately affected, relative to other sectors, 83 percent of all damage and loss caused by drought was absorbed by agriculture in 2017, the burden heaviest on crop and livestock-based livelihoods.

Furthermore, the impacts on the agriculture sector far exceed the short term. In the case of drought, the loss of animals and failed harvests can have negative impacts on incomes, nutrition and food security for years, with the loss of animals and the destruction of critical infrastructure carrying severe livelihood penalties. This report provides the latest data on the impact of disasters and crises on the agriculture sector, combined with sound analysis of remaining gaps and challenges. It includes the first-ever analysis of the effect on agriculture of conflict and food chain crises. The 2017 report also considers how the entire sector is impacted: not only crops and livestock, but also forestry, fisheries and aquaculture.