South Asia is currently home to nearly 1.8 billion people — the majority living in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — and has been the fastest-growing region for the past five years. The UN estimates that the population of the region will grow by 40 percent by 2050.
IPCC reports that by the end of this century crop production in South Asia is expected to decrease by 30 percent — particularly rice, wheat, and maize production.
“The growing population will demand a higher supply of secure food, water, housing, and energy to maintain stability; this is why countries in the region need to ensure they have the policies in place to adapt to the increasing number of people living there in coming years.
A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has stated that climate change and rising temperatures will affect food production across Asia differently, but most food insecure populations are likely to be found in South Asia.
Currently, agriculture is one of South Asia’s biggest employers. Nearly 70 percent of the region’s population is employed in agriculture and the majority of people in the region live in rural communities.
“Agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of people living in the region and is extremely vulnerable to climate change,” says Stacey- a climate change expert.
The IPCC reports that by the end of this century, and provided current climate change projections prove to be accurate, crop production in South Asia is expected to decrease by 30 percent — particularly rice, wheat, and maize production.
“There will be a negative impact on both food production and consumption due to climate change in South Asia,” says Stacey. “Also, this will impact the eating patterns of the people in the region in the long term.”
This is because as agricultural production declines, not only will cereal consumption patterns be affected but the price of feed will also increase, which will push the price of meat up.