The impact of climate on present and future food security cannot be evaluated solely through use of crop yields estimates and models of future production and food deficits. Uncertainties in such estimates are large. There is also a clear need to understand how climatic factors might interact with future food and agricultural markets, sector and trade policy, and political instability, as well as the relevance of historical resource inequities and past development trends. The high sensitivity of tropical production to climatic extremes and variability, the importance of the sector to the livelihood security of significant proportions of the total population in the tropics, and the disadvantaged position of tropical food producers in globalized agricultural markets, present difficult challenges for the future food security of these regions. Even in countries such as Mexico, in which famine is only a very distant memory, malnutrition and rural poverty have become chronic problems.
Some populations that are currently highly vulnerable to food insecurity have, in the past, shown considerable resilience and innovation when confronted by risk and uncertainty. However, not enough is being done globally to strengthen that capacity and to build on existing knowledge. We do not yet know the types of farm systems or the types of agricultural technologies that will be most appropriate and most flexible in the future. Despite this uncertainty, the technology preferences and research priorities of the industrialized world are disturbingly becoming decisive for all.
The trend toward less public investment in agricultural research in developing nations and the concentration of basic grain production among a handful of nations may be undermining what remains of the capacity of rural populations in the tropics to feed themselves or to have the resources with which to purchase what they require.
Despite the fact that global food production may keep up with global population growth, as models tend to predict, current regional and local trends in income disparity, persistent poverty, and food insecurity are cause for considerable concern. While trade has increased significantly across the developing world, a recent CIMMYT (Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo) report argues that trade alone will be unable to accommodate the growing maize needs in developing nations (Pingali and Pandey, 2000). According to this assessment, countries in which maize is the staple grain face particularly difficult challenges. Over the period 1995 to 2020 maize demand in developing nations will increase by an average of 50% (Pingali and Pandey, 2000). Yet the political and economic trends observed in Mexico and mirrored in other Latin American nations (FAO, 2001) suggest that meeting these needs with improvements in domestic production will be difficult.
It is likely that rural Mexico's declining command over food and its persistent poverty would have occurred without the climatic events of the 1990s. However, droughts that affected the commercial agricultural districts of Mexico's northern states, and the frosts, floods, and water stress in Mexico's highlands apparently contributed to both the political decision to increase Mexico's reliance on foreign grain and to reduce public investments in a crop considered to have a limited future in Mexico (SAGARPA, 2000). Mexico's domestic production of maize, and the access of its citizenry to the quantity and type of maize that it requires, is thus being doubly threatened by both climatic uncertainties and economic realities. As a result although white maize continues to be the preferred crop for millions of small farmers, and is critical in the diet of millions of Mexicans the role of domestically produced maize in Mexico's future food security is uncertain.
As adaptation to climate change is introduced into national policy debates, the tendency may be to create adaptation policies, or in other words, distinct programs and policy initiatives designed to specifically address climatic threats to sector development or infrastructure. Separating adaptation to climatic risk from adaptation to economic challenges may be useful in climate research, but poorly reflects the reality experienced by many of the world's farmers. Changing the focus of analysis from the model to the field, and from the crop to the farmer may help to understand the complex equation of global change and local response to it. It is hoped that this understanding will hold the key to more sustainable and humane development, as well as to greater resilience and adaptation by rural smallholders in Mexico and elsewhere.
Agnew, C.T. 1998. Climate, agriculture and vegetation in the tropics. In C.C. Webster and P.N. Wilson, Eds. Agriculture in the Tropics. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Altieri, M. and Trujillo, J. 1987. The agroecology of corn production in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Hum. Organ., 15:189-220.
Appendini, K. 1994. Transforming food policy over a decade: the balance for Mexican corn farmers in 1993. In C.H.D. Alcántara, Ed. Economic Restructuring and Rural Subsistence in Mexico: Corn and the Crisis of the 1980s. Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego.
Appendini, K. 1998. Changing agrarian institutions: interpreting the contradictions. In W. Cornelius and D. Myhre, Eds. The Transformation of Rural Mexico: Reforming the Ejido Sector. Center for U.S .-Mexico Studies, University of California, San Diego.
Bellon, M.R. 1991. The ethnoecology of maize variety management: a case study from Mexico. Hum. Ecol., 19:389-418.
Bellon, M.R. 1995. Farmer's knowledge and sustainable agroecosys-tem management: an operational definition and an example from Chiapas, Mexico. Hum. Organ., 54:263-272.
Benson, C. and Clay, E. 1996. The impact of drought on sub-Saharan African economies: a preliminary assessment. Overseas Development Institute, London.
Blaikie, P., Cannon, T., Davis, I., and Wisner, B. 1994. At Risk: Natural Hazards, People's Vulnerability and Disaster. Rout-ledge, London.
Brush, S., Bellon Corrales, M., and Schmidt, E. 1988. Agricultural development and maize diversity in Mexico. Hum. Ecol., 16:307-328.
Burton, I. 1997. Vulnerability and adaptive response in the context of climate and climate change. Climatic Change, 36:185-196.
Buttel, F.H. 1997. Some observations on agro-food change and the future of agricultural sustainability movements. In D. Goodman and M. Watts, Eds. Globalising Food. New York: Routledge.
Cane, M. 2001. Understanding and Predicting the World's Climate System. Paper presented at Impacts of El Niño and Climate Variability on Agriculture Conference, Beltsville, MD.
Centro de Estadística Agropecuaria (CEA). 2003. Sistema de Información Agropecuaria de Consulta (SIACON). Versión 1.1. Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pescaría y Alimentación. http://www.siap.sagarpa.gob.mx/.
Chen, R. and Katz, R. 1994. Climate change and world food security. Global Environ. Œ^se 4:3-6.
Comision Economica para America Latina y El Caribe (CEPAL). 2000. Panorama Social de América Latina. Santiago, Chile.
Conde, C., Liverman, D., Flores, M., Ferrer, R., Arajo, R., Betancourt, E., Villarreal, G., and Gay, C. 1997. Vulnerability of rainfed maize crops in Mexico to climate change. Climate Res., 9:17-23.
Cortés, J.I., Turrent, A., Díaz, P., Jiménez, L., Hernández, E., and Mendoza, R. 2004. Chapter 23, this volume.
Cotter, J. 1994. Salinas de Gotari's agricultural policy and scientific exchange: some lessons from before and during the Green Revolution. In E.C. Ochoa and D.E. Lorey, Eds. Estado y Agricultura en México: Antecedentes e Implicaciones de las Reformas Salin-ista. Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, pp. 39-55.
de Janvry, A., Chiriboga, M., Colmenares, H., Hintermeister, A., Howe, G., Irigoyen, R., Monares, A., Rello, F., Sadoulet, E., Secco, J., Pluijm, T.v.d., and Varese, S. 1995. Reformas del Sector Agricola y el Campesinado en Mexico. Fondo Internacional de Desarollo Agrícola y Instituto Interamericano de Cooperacíon para la Agricultura, San José, Costa Rica.
de Janvry, A., Gordillo, G., and Sadoulet, E. 1997. Mexico's Second Agrarian Reform: Household and Community Responses. Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies, University of California, San Diego.
de Janvry, A. and Sadoulet, E. 2001. Income strategies among rural households in Mexico: the role of off-farm activities. World Dev., 29:467-4S0.
Denevan, W.M. 19S0. Latin America. In G.A. Klee, Ed. World Systems of Traditional Resource Management. Halsted Press, New York, pp. 217-256.
Dilley, M. and Heyman, B. 1995. ENSO and disaster: droughts, floods, and El Niño/Southern Oscillation warm events. Disasters, 19:181-193.
Dixon, J., Gulliver, A., and Gibbon, D. 2001. Farming Systems and Poverty: Summary. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome; World Bank, Washington, DC.
Doolittle, W. 1989. Arroyos and the development of agriculture in northern Mexico. In J.O. Browder, Ed. Fragile Lands in Latin America: Strategies for Sustainable Development. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.
Downing, T.E., Ed. 1996. Climate Change and World Food Security. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Dreze, J. and Sen, A. 1989. Hunger and Public Action. Clarendon Press, Berlin.
Dussel Peters, E. 2000. El Tratado de Libre Comercio de Norteamerica y el Desempeo de la Economia en Mexico. LC/MEX/L.431. Comision Economica para America Latina y El Caribe, Mexico City.
Eakin, H. 1998. Adapting to Climate Variability in Tlaxcala, Mexico: Constraints and Opportunities for Small-scale Maize Producers. Master's thesis, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Eakin, H. 1999. Seasonal climate forecasting and the relevance of local knowledge. Phys. Geogr., 20:447-460.
Eakin, H. 2000. Smallholder maize production and climatic risk: a case study from Mexico. Climatic Change, 45(1): 19-36.
Eakin, H. 2002. Rural Households' Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climatic Variability and Institutional Change. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Escalante, R. and Redón, T. 1987. Neoliberalismo a la Mexicana: su impacto sobre el sector agropecuario. Problemas del Desarrollo, 75:115-151.
Food and Agriculture Organization. 2003. World Agriculture: Towards 2015/2030. Earthscan, London.
Food and Agriculture Organization. 2001. Analysis of the Medium-term Effects of Hurricane Mitch on Food Security in Central America. FAO, Rome.
Fox Quesada, V. 2003. Tercer Informe de Gobierno. Presidencia, Gobierno de México, Mexico City.
Friedmann, H. 1994. Distance and durability: shaky foundations of the world food economy. In P. McMichael, Ed. The Global Restructuring of Agro Food Systems. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Fritscher Mundt, M. 1999. El maíz en México: auge y crisis en los noventa. Cuadernos Agrarios, 17-18:142-163.
Gledhill, J. 1995. Neoliberalism, Transnationalization and Rural Poverty. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.
Gommes, R. 1993. Current climate and population constraints on world agriculture. In H.M. Kaiser and T.E. Drennen, Eds. Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL.
Helms, S., Mendelsohn, R., and Neumann, J. 1996. The impact of climate change on agriculture. Climatic Change, 33:1-6.
Hernández Laos, E., and Velásquez Roa, J. 2003 Globalizaciun, Desigualdad y Pobreza: Lecciones de la Experiencia Mexican. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2001. Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, London; New York.
Kelly, T. 1999. The Effects of Economic Adjustment on Poverty in Mexico. Ashgate Publishing, Brookfield, VT.
Kelly, T. 2001. Neoliberal reforms and rural poverty. Latin American Perspectives, 28:84-103.
Leichenko, R. and O'Brien, K. 2002. The dynamics of rural vulnerability to global change: the case of Southern Africa. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 7:1-18.
León-Portilla, M. 1988. El maíz: nuestro sustento, su realidad divina y humana en Mesoamerica. America Indígena, XLVIII:477-502.
Liverman, D., Dilley, M., O'Brien, K., and Menchaca, L. 1992. The impacts of global warming on Mexican maize yields. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.
Liverman, D. and O'Brien, K. 1991. Global warming and climate change in Mexico. Global Environ. Change, 1(5):351-364.
Loker, W.M. 1996. Campesinos and the crisis of modernization in Latin America. J. Political Ecol., 3:69-88.
Magaña, V.O., Ed. 1999. Los Impactos de El Niño en México. -Secretaria de Educacíon Pública (SEP) and Consejo National de Ciencias y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico City.
Magaña, V. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, personal communication, Jan. 11, 2005.
Magaña, V., Amador, J., and Medina, S. 1999. The midsummer drought over Mexico and Central America.J. Climate, 12:1577-1588.
Marsden, T. 1997. Creating space for food: the distinctiveness of recent agrarian development. In D. Goodman and M. Watts, Eds. Globalizing Food: Agrarian Questions and Global Restructuring. Routledge, London.
McMichael, P., Ed. 1994. The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, and London.
Morales, T. and Magaña, V. 1999. Unexpected frosts in central Mexico during summer. Paper presented at the 11th Conference on Applied Climatology, Dallas, TX.
Myhre, D. 1994. The politics of globalization in rural Mexico: campesino initiative to restructure the agricultural credit system. In P. McMichael, Ed. The Global Restructuring of Agro-Food Systems. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, and London, pp. 145-169.
Nadal, A. 1999. Maize in Mexico: Some Environmental Implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Environment and Trade Series 6, Commission on Environmental Cooperation, Montreal.
O'Brien, K. and Vogel, C., Eds. 2003. Coping with Climate Variability: User Responses to Seasonal Climate Forecasts in Southern Africa. Ashgate Publishing, Brookfield, VT.
O'Brien, K.L. and Leichenko, R.M. 2000. Double exposure: assessing the impacts of climate change within the context of economic globalization. Global Environ. Change, 10:221-232.
Parry, M. 1990. Climate Change and World Agriculture. Earthscan, London.
Parry, M., Arnell, N., McMichael, T., Nicholls, R., Martens, P., Kovats, S., Livermore, M., Rosenzweig, C., Iglesias, A., and Fisher, G. 2001. Millions at risk: defining critical climate change threats and targets. Global Environ. Change, 11:181-183.
Parry, M. and Carter, T. 1998. Climate Impact and Adaptation Assessment. Earthscan, London.
Pereyra Diaz, D., Angulo Cordova, Q., and Palma Grayeb, B.E. 1994. Effect of ENSO on the mid-summer drought in Veracruz State, Mexico. Atmsfer, 7:111-119.
Phillips, J.G., Makaudze, E., and Unganai, L. 1998. Current and potential use of climate forecasts for resource-poor farmers in Zimbabwe. Paper presented at the Impacts of Climate Variability on Agriculture: Regional Effects and Use of Climate Forecasts in Crop Management, Beltsville, MD.
Pingali, P.L. and Pandey, S. 2000. Meeting World Maize Needs: Technological Opportunities and Priorities for the Public Sector. Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo, Mexico City.
Raynolds, L. 1997. Restructuring national agriculture, agro-food trade, and agrarian livelihoods in the Caribbean. In D. Goodman and M. Watts, Eds. Globalising Food. Routledge, New York.
Reilly, J.M. 1995. Climate change and global agriculture: recent findings and issues. Am. J. Agric. Econ., 77:727-733.
Reilly, J.M. and Schilmmelpfenning, D. 1999. Agricultural impact assessment, vulnerability and the scope for adaptation. Climatic Change, 43:745-788.
Ribot, J.C., Najam, A., and Watson, G. 1996. Climate variation, vulnerability and sustainable development in the semi-arid tropics. In J.C. Ribot, A.R. Magalhaes, and S.S. Panagides, Eds. Climate Variability, Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in the Semi-arid Tropics, Cambridge University Press, London; New York, pp. 13-51.
Rosenzweig, C. and Liverman, D. 1992. Predicted effects of climate change on agriculture: a comparison of temperate and tropical regions. In S. K. Majumdar, Ed. Global Climate Change: Implications, Challenges and Mitigation Measures. Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, Pittsburgh, pp. 342-361.
Rosenzweig, C. and Parry, M. 1993. Potential impacts of climate change on world food supply: a summary of a recent international study. In H. Kaiser and T.E. Drennen, Eds. Agricultural Dimensions of Global Climate Change. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL.
Sen, A. 1981. Poverty and Famines. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Sen, A. 1990. Food, economics and entitlements. In J. Dreze and A. Sen, Eds. The Political Economy of Hunger. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Trujillo, J.A. 1990. Adaptación de sistemas tradicionales de producción de maíz a las condiciones "siniestrantes" de Tlaxca. Historia y Sociedad en Tlaxcala, October, pp. 67-70.
Wellhausen, E.J., Roberts, L.M., and Hernandez X.E. 1952. Races of Maize in Mexico. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Whitmore, T.M. and Turner II, B.L. 1992. Landscapes of cultivation in Mesoamerica on the eve of the conquest. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr.. 82:402-425.
Wilken, G. 1982. Agroclimatic Hazard Perception, Prediction and Risk-Avoidance Strategies in Lesotho. Department of Geography, Natural Hazards Research Group, Colorado State University, Boulder.
Wilken, G. 1987. Good Farmers: Traditional Agricultural Resource Management in Mexico and Central America. University of California Press, Berkeley.
World Bank. 1996. Drought in Malawi: From Crisis Response to Strategic Management. Working Paper. Southern Africa Department, World Bank, Washington, DC.
Yapa, L. 1996. Improved seeds and constructed scarcity. In R. Peets and M. Watts, Eds. Liberation Ecologies. Routledge, New York.
Was this article helpful?
This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.