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UK: fall in food security

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Climate change is one of the reasons why regional agriculture is suffering and food security fell.

Climate change is one of the reasons why regional agriculture is suffering and food security fell. ©

For the first time in five years the worldwide food security fell. That is the result of the  sixth annual Global Food Security Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Reasons are weather disasters and a decline in global political stability. The Bristish Soil Association reports in a recent article about details of  the study. It shows that UK food security has decreased from the 3rd position (most secure) to the 7th. “This dramatic drop was due to the addition this year of key climate-related category of “Natural Resources and Resilience” including measures of adaptive capacity and demographic stresses. This decrease highlights the dramatic challenge that climate change presents to our food system and the urgent need to address UK climate vulnerabilities”, says the article. Soil Association is currently campaigning about.

Honor Eldridge (Soil Association) the author of the article writes: “One of the key goals continually raised in the post-Brexit debate is making the UK food system more self-reliant. The aim is to have more food grown in the UK and less of our supply being met by imports. The data provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit would suggest that climate change will make reliance on imports increasingly difficult in the future. With rising temperatures, water scarcity and increased frequency of extreme weather events, the ability to produce food will become more and more difficult.

Faced by these challenges, it is not only necessary that we invest in more resilient farming systems, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. Evidence shows that organic farms generally emit fewer greenhouse gases and use less energy, . Sustainably managed soils store up to 450kg more carbon per hectare than non-organic farms and also leach 35-65% less nitrogen. Indeed, it has been estimated that converting 50% of EU land under organic farming by 2030 would equate to a 23% cut in agricultural GHG emissions through increased soil carbon sequestration and reduced application of manufactured nitrogen fertilisers, Honor Eldridge assumes.


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