Weather and climate services are essential for sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition – the theme of this year’s World Food Day which aims at increasing understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger.
Today almost 842 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). At the same time, enormous amounts of food are wasted, Unsustainable models of development are degrading the natural environment, threatening ecosystems that will be needed for future food supply. Agriculture is especially vulnerable to natural hazards like heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation and floods and climate change is expected to exacerbate the challenges.
National Meteorological and Hydrological Services will play a fundamental role in helping the agriculture sector, including the estimated 450 million smallholder farms, to meet demands which include: producing more and higher quality food while using less water per unit of output; protecting the health of the ecosystem; and, contributing in a productive way to agricultural and economic sustainability.