About 76% of farmers are worried about the future impact of climate change, while 71% say it already has had an impact on their farms and incomes, a recent survey by life science company Bayer Group found.
Researchers interviewed 800 farmers in eight countries — Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Kenya, Ukraine and the United States — and said that 568 of those farmers have witnessed the impact of climate change directly on their farms.
About 80% of them have experienced heat effects and anticipate reduced yields in the coming years.
Rodrigo Santos, president of the Crop Science Division at Bayer, said that despite the impact of climate change on farming communities, there will be more demand for food harvested from less land in the coming years.
“We need to produce 50% more food … with 20% less land per capita than we do today,” Santos said.
“Climate change for us, when we live in the cities, is one thing, but for the farmers it is impacting their yields, it’s impacting their production, it’s impacting their ability to produce food and feed,” he said.
The report said that 73% of farmers interviewed in Kenya, for instance, have faced drought. Persistent droughts in the East African nation have resulted in crop losses and livestock deaths.
The report highlights that 1 in every 6 farmers worldwide suffered a nearly 16% loss of income due to adverse weather conditions over the past two years.
Unpredictable weather patterns and insufficient seed varieties exacerbated food insecurity in Africa, according to experts.
The head of Africa Agribusiness International Finance Corp. at the World Bank, Yosuke Kotsuji, said the continent needs to adopt new farm technologies faster.
“The headache is how to scale technology dissemination,” he said. “The way you and I can farm — next door we can get quite different results.”
According to experts, older African farmers encounter difficulties when it comes to embracing technologies, unlike their younger counterparts on the continent.
Most farmers surveyed mentioned that they either currently implement or plan to adopt methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, over 50% of them are striving to enhance biodiversity.
Doaa Abdel-Motaal, a senior counselor at the World Trade Organization, said there is a need to facilitate the easy movement of food in different countries to fight food insecurity.
“We also need to take into account the fact that the climate crisis is progressing and there will be more climate calamities, unfortunately, in different parts of the globe,” Abdel-Motaal said. “So allowing food to move from country A to country B to counter those calamities so that countries don’t starve is absolutely essential.
“Where countries find themselves on the map is no more than an accident of geography. There are some countries that are completely dependent on imported food for their food security,” he said.
Farmers worry about escalating fertilizer costs, energy prices and fluctuations in prices and income, the report said.