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Climate change threatens nation’s food security  

Climate change is threatening agricultural production and posing a major challenge to Laos and other countries’ efforts at strengthening world food security, according to a leading official.

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Lien Thikeo made the remark yesterday during a press conference in Vientiane to publicise World Food Day which is officially recognised annually on October 16.

The event promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

World Food Day is a chance to show commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

Zero hunger means working together to ensure everyone, everywhere, has access to the safe, healthy and nutritious food they need.

Dr Lien explained that this year, Laos experienced extreme weather including tropical storms which increased the difficulties in delivering food security.

Floods in low-lying areas and landslides badly affected the country damaging or destroying more than 98,000 hectares of crops and fisheries.

“In particular, the storms will have a bearing on the ministry’s targets for 2016-2020 which were set to ensure food security, greater commercial production, and sustainable forestry management,” he said.

Dr Lien pointed out the ministry is encouraging farmers to produce clean agriculture which will be a sustainable way to create income and guarantee the nation’s food security.

“This will help push the government’s policy to reduce poverty and everyone will be able to cook nutritious food,” he added.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reported recently it is targeting to increase the area under cultivation during the November to May dry season from 177,000 hectares to 185,000 hectares.

The ministry will store 986 tonnes of series 3 rice seeds as well as harvest 500 tonnes of series 1 and series 2 seeds, which are expected to be ready at the end of this year. The rice seeds will be distributed to farmers for planting in the dry season.

This rainy season, farmers had planted crops on 234,000 hectares, equal to 31 percent of the target.

Environmental experts predict that climate change is expected to bring increasingly severe drought and flood conditions to Laos, with crop yields possibly falling 10 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by the year 2050.

By Times Reporters
(Last update: October 11, 2018)