‘The Crop of the Future’
Experts attending the 2022 Global Breadfruit Summit on Tuesday warn a food crisis may occur as a result of the ongoing impacts of climate change, conflict and Covid-19.
Pacific Farmer Organisations Executive Director Kyle Stice said the combined impacts will worsen food insecurity in Pacific Island nations due to rising prices.
The Pacific region consumes imported staples such as wheat flour and imported rice which are going to be significantly impacted by climate change, he added.
“It’s not just about what climate change is going to do in our countries but what climate change is going to do outside of our region and particularly the impact on global staples.”
“The wheat flour pricing in Fiji was $10 for 10kg 18 months ago, presently it’s $17 for for 10 kg bag. If you are a family of eight and you are dependent on making buns for your children to go to school to take with them, this is a significant impact on your livelihood and this is going to continue to increase.”
Speaking in Hawaii on Tuesday, Kyle Stice said the war in Ukraine – combined with the effects of climate change and the pandemic – “will challenge Pacific Islanders to respond to threats facing agriculture and be aware of what’s going on in our food systems globally.”
“FAO is projecting increases in food and fuel in the Pacific to rise between 8-22% over the next 24months, if you’re a family living on the edge and dependent on buying food from the store, these are very worrying figures,” he added.
He warned that the only effective solution to the crisis was reintegrating traditional food systems which are more resilient.
Kyle Stice also said Pacific Farmer Organisation is proposing “enhancing domestic food systems as a key policy response to help address both climate change and food security.”
“We believe that farmers helping farmers Is a key opportunity to address these threats and the opportunities because farmer organisations are most uniquely situated to understanding the needs of their members.”
“Farmers working together is a model that can help extend the reach of government, academia and development partners.”