New Delhi, Mar 18: Food supply in India and across the globe will go down by at least 6 per cent by 2050 as water crisis and heat stress caused by climate change will hit productivity, the Global Commission on Economics of Water (GCEW) has warned.
The commission is convened by the Government of the Netherlands and facilitated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its latest report used a large dimensional computable general equilibrium model to project impacts on global irrigated food production and food security.
Food supply decreases were projected for two climate change scenarios or representative concentration pathways (RCP) based on the intensity of the greenhouse gas emissions. The optimistic RCP 4.5 based on drastic cut in emissions and RCP 8.5 the worst-case scenario. The model used 2014 as base year.
"Even under the best-case climate change scenario of RCP4.5, most African countries experience an increase in people with severe food insecurity by more than one third," the report 'The What, Why and How of the World Water Crisis' said.
The "best case" scenario for India meant a 6.52 per cent fall in food supply while it was 16.1 per cent in the worst case scenario. In China, it was 8.97 per cent and 22.4 per cent, respectively while the fall in the US was pegged at 4.8 per cent and 12.6 per cent.
Food insecurity affects 72-81 crore people globally and is linked to water insecurity. The fall in production, the study said, will push 100 crore people into severe food insecurity, the report said.
In another report titled 'Turning the Tide', the GCEW issued a seven-point agenda for collective action: managing global water cycle with just and equity, adopt outcomes-focussed approach to water conservation, cease underpricing water, phase out subsidies in agriculture and water, establishing just water partnerships, fortifying freshwater storage systems and reshape the multilateral governance of water.