Food insecurity and hunger are caused by a range of intertwined factors, including poverty, conflict, lack of investment in agriculture, and unstable markets. The climate crisis is fast becoming another major variable. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 report, farmers will have to contend with higher temperatures, increasing heatwaves, prolonged droughts, and flash floods. Yet – as this edition of Perspectives demonstrates – there are available solutions that could not only enhance the resilience of agricultural production to withstand the climate crisis but also contribute to reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment. However, many of these options struggle to be heard in a mainstream discourse that is dominated by a pro-growth productivist paradigm. The articles from Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa and Kenya show that government policy has been captured by a narrative of “modernisation” that favours large-scale, input-intensive agricultural production for global markets, supported by technological fixes such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This dominant approach threatens key resources such as biodiversity, water, and soil fertility, which are also under threat by the climate crisis. At the same time, it undermines the local and traditional knowledge systems upon which climate-change resilience and the necessary shift towards agroecological production depend.
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