The global message for World Food Day 2016 on 16 October is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
The WMO-led Global Framework for Climate Services has therefore made agricultural production and food security one of its top priorities. WMO works with the Food and Agricultural Organization, the World Food Programme and other partners to ensure that climate services like seasonal forecasts are accessible and understandable to farmers.
WMO also helps National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to hold roving seminars for farmers. These teach farmers and agricultural extension workers how to use weather and climate information to boost crop yields, and gives them basic tools like rain gauges.
At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable.
Agricultural production is a major source of emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide. WMO is working towards an integrated global greenhouse gas information system to better identify exact sources of emissions and so help countries to target their climate change mitigation efforts.
Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage.