Adapting Food Systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains to Global Environmental Change: Key Information Needs to Improve Policy Formulation (2004)

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The Indo-Gangetic plain (IGP; including regions of Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh) is generally characterised by fertile soils, favourable climate and an abundant supply of water. Nevertheless, the challenge of increasing food production in the IGP in line with demand grows ever greater; any perturbation in agriculture will considerably affect the food systems of the region and increase the vulnerability of the resource-poor population. Increasing regional production is already complicated by increasing competition for land resources by non-agricultural sectors and by the deterioration of agri-environments and water resources. Global environmental change (GEC), especially changes in climate mean values and variability, will further complicate the agricultural situation and will therefore, have serious implications for food systems of the region. Strategies to reduce the vulnerability of the region's food systems to GEC need to be based on a combination of technical and policy options, and developed in recognition of the concurrent changes in socioeconomic stresses. Adaptation options need to be assessed with regard to their socioeconomic and environmental efficacy, but a greater understanding of the interactions of food systems with GEC is needed to be able to do this with confidence. This paper discusses information needs relating to resource management and policy support to guide the development of research planning for increasing the robustness of IGP food systems to GEC. Further information is needed to develop a range of adaptation strategies including augmenting production and its sustainability, increasing income from agricultural enterprises, diversification from rice–wheat systems, improving land use and natural resource management, and instigating more flexible policies and institutions.
Year: 2004
Language: English
In: Environmental Science & Policy, 7 (6): 487-498 p.

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 Record created 2013-02-11, last modified 2013-02-11