Climate change is a prominent force behind the global food crisis

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Grace Smith | October 21, 2022

Climate change and extreme weather are affecting the global food crisis significantly. Rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns like drought, wildfires, and floods make it extremely difficult for farmers to grow food to feed the hungry.

Samantha Power, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, spoke on this topic during a Thursday night gathering at the Iowa Events Center.

“Climate change is leading to ever-more disastrous shocks, and with so many of the harshest impacts falling on poor farmers, how do we break the cycle of lurching from food crisis to food crisis?” asked Power. “How can we harness the industry, the know-how, and just stubborn determination of farmers around the world as well as the work of tremendous innovators … to feed the planet without accelerating climate change even further?” 

Power brought up the Horn of Africa, where 828 million people go to bed hungry each night because of a drought-driven famine occurring in Somalia killing people and animals. Power said despite the aid received by the U.S., Somalia needs more help. 

At the gathering, Power suggested an idea to help control the global food crisis. Power mentioned World Food Prize Founder Norman Borlaug, who embraced agricultural innovation through research, which started the Green Revolution and saved many citizens from hunger. 

“Despite these trade-offs, the primary lesson of the Green Revolution was clear,” Power said. “With investments in agricultural productivity and publicly funded research, “food supply can grow faster than demand.”