Challenges for adaptation research in food security

The previous chapters made it very clear that climate change has positive and negative impacts on food security. The research agenda should therefore focus on alleviat ing the negative impacts and benefiting from the positive impacts. Regarding the latter, research should focus on CO2 fertilization. Here, the two key research issues

• to study options for moving from C3 to C4 plants, which includes technical and socio-economic aspects; and

• to ensure that sufficient water, nutrients and managerial knowledge are available to profit from enhanced CO2 levels.

To minimize the negative impact of climate change, the following research areas should be addressed in the near future:

• the options to enhance the buffer capacity of individual farmers: loaning system, crop differentiation;

• the options to enhance the buffer capacity of river basins/countries: water storage, food storage, trade;

• proper pre-defined planning mechanisms for water allocation under different scenarios of water availability; and

• planning mechanisms for the integration of adaptation strategies into management and (non-)climatic policy.

Obviously, these components should be studied in an integrated way, where the issues mentioned are relevant on a regional scale, but a different emphasis might be required depending on local conditions.

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