Climate change and farmers
Human civilization, for the most of it, has been dependent on farming, which is quite a challenging profession. The main reason is the ever-changing ecological conditions and farmers trying to find creative solutions to these challenges . So, we can say farmers have become exceptionally adaptable professionals over the decades. But their adaptation to their ever-changing environment does not guarantee any ease for them. The modern farmers are facing the same age-old obstacles that were a hindrance to the farmers in the past. Furthermore, new challenges in recent years due to climate change and the declining global economy are a looming threat to these workers. One can also say that farming communities are facing the hardest challenge since the inception of farming culture. In this article, we are going to talk about some of these problems while simultaneously talking about the successes of the farmer community.
Farmers have been facing many struggles and some of them are persistent even today. Green House Gases are a major source of climate change and Green House Effect, and agriculture is the major source of their production. Consequently, climate change is causing negative impacts on agricultural production which could lead to the scarcity of food availability in the future. Global Food Security is dependent on both, convenient food access and sufficient food production . Currently, sufficient food is being produced to feed the world population, but more than 10% population is undernourished, nevertheless.
Climate change is likely to cause serious threats to farmer communities by causing substantial food insecurity and a price hike in food items. Climate Change can impact the farmer community by causing an increase in energy costs, and water scarcity that leads to the looming threat of droughts. It also leads to the rise in competition for the fertile land. Depletion of freshwater availability affects livestock and crop production. Drought can also cause a decline in groundwater and surface water reserves, furthering the troubles for farmers who majorly rely on freshwater. Consequently, the water costs increase, and farmers have to compete to access it. Drought can also lead to the rise in pests and diseases of crops, livestock, and forage.
When the growth in foreign economies slows down, it also reduces the import demand of US agricultural commodities, which lowers the U.S. agricultural commodities prices and exports. The stronger dollar means the price hike of U.S. commodities exports which reduces their demand in the foreign markets. This, in turn, affects the farmers. Inadequate irrigation, drought, crop failure, flood, and the increased cost of cultivation lead to the lack of viability in the debt of farmers and the farming profession. Moreover, the difficulty in selling within the local market can break or make the income of farmers.
The pandemic led to the drastic and immediate decline of the food demand by hotel customers and restaurants which isolated farmers and food processors from some of their leading buyers, especially for dairy, meat, and specialty crops.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in the last 30 years has played a major role in advancing federal programs and policies which promote conservation, build new businesses and markets, foster family farm agriculture, and progress organic and sustainable research. It has been immensely helpful in making the farmer community successful and achieving countless great things. Such as, it helped in the preservation of Conservation Title by raising total funding levels. The help of CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program), helped in the adoption of high-payoff and cost-effective activities. It ensured that all the socially disadvantaged farmers getting enrolled in EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) received their 50% cost-share payment upfront. Creation of opportunities for implementing conservation techniques for the transition to organic and organic farmers and helping in building the healthy food pipeline by championing the LAMP (Local Agriculture Market Program) which received $50 million in permanent funds in the bill farm .
In short, with the changing and ever-increasing ecological disasters, farmers face many issues which lead to a wide range of crises for this community. But at the same time, efforts are being made by different legal communities for the betterment of farmers because society as a whole, relies majorly on farmers.