We can limit warming by reducing emissions and capturing CO2 . This will reduce the harm climate change has on farming . However, climate change will still have devastating effects on food production if we don’t also ADAPT our farming methods .
Here are a few things we can do:
Choose DIFFERENT CROPS, which can naturally cope better with the changing climate [1,2]. Depending on the place, they will need to be more resistant to heat shock, drought, flooding, disease, or salty soil . Despite being controversial, genetic engineering is really useful for making plants that can cope with climate change [9,10,11].
More careful use of WATER [1,2]. This can mean storing water from the winter  or using “precision agriculture” to water individual plants based on their need [1,4,12].
INTEGRATED farming – i.e. farming lots of different things at once in the same place [1,2]. This means that if one thing fails, the farmer does not lose all their income or food . There are other benefits too – let’s look at an example:
SILVOPASTORAL SYSTEMS: grazing cattle or sheep underneath trees gives farmers extra income from timber, keeps the animals cool, and is better for wildlife [6,7]. Raising FISH in RICE paddy fields provides a source of carbohydrate (rice) and protein (fish) from the same land . Moreover, the fish protect the rice crop by controlling spread of weeds, snails, insect pests, and diseases [1,8]!
We should also adapt how we harvest wild resources: we need to catch FEWER FISH to allow fish populations to recover and give them a chance to cope with changing water temperatures – otherwise there may be even fewer fish left to catch [1,5].
We have to change the way we make food . Sometimes this involves brand new things like genetically modified crops, whilst often the solutions already exist, they just need to be done more often !
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