2022 Global Food Policy Report: Climate Change and Food Systems


This report was published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on May 12, 2022. IFPRI, based in Washington D. C., USA, is a research centre working towards reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition across the globe.

The 2022 Global Food Policy Report is the eleventh edition of IFPRI’s annual Global Food Policy series, begun in the year 2011. This report studies the impact of climate change on food systems across various stages of production, distribution and consumption. Climate change is expected to severely impact food systems by the year 2050, the report states. This is likely to worsen the existing levels of hunger, malnutrition and poverty across the globe. In light of this, the report recommends policy actions to build resilient and sustainable food systems which can withstand the worsening effects of climate change.

The 189-page document contains 12 chapters: Climate Change and Food Systems (Chapter 1); Repurposing Agricultural Support (Chapter 2); Trade and Climate Change (Chapter 3); Research for the Future (Chapter 4); Climate Finance (Chapter 5); Social Protection (Chapter 6); Landscape Governance (Chapter 7); Nutrition and Climate Change (Chapter 8); Rural Clean Energy Access (Chapter 9); Bio-innovations (Chapter 10); Food Value Chains (Chapter 11); and Digital Innovations (Chapter 12).


  1. Climate change and its economic, social and political effects will make ending world hunger by the year 2050 impossible, the report notes. Extreme weather events, regional upheavals and global crises such as pandemics and wars will only worsen the situation.

  2. Despite being the largest employer in the world, food systems have negatively impacted the environment by deteriorating water resources and resulting in the loss of habitat and biodiversity. In 2019, food systems accounted for around 34 per cent of the total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, the report notes.

  3. As much as two-thirds of emissions from food system arise from agriculture, forestry, and other forms of land use – collectively referred to as AFOLU – which must be transformed to adapt to climate change. This sector can be used to draw more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than it produces, making it a ‘net emissions sink’.

  4. By 2050, levels of global food production will need to increase by at least 60 per cent over levels noted in 2005-07 to meet the projected needs. Investing in agricultural research, development and rural infrastructure will aid in reducing hunger and meeting these demands, the report notes. This, in turn, will help in building sustainable and efficient food systems.

  5. The report states that low- and middle-income countries made up almost 60 per cent of total global spending on agricultural research as of 2016. More than half of this number was contributed by China, India and Brazil.

  6. Investment by the private sector in agricultural research focuses on a small number of commodities such as cereals, soybeans, meat and cotton, the report notes. Such investment often neglect commodities which are “economically and nutritionally important” in low- and middle-income countries. Thus, the report recommends increased public sector investment in agricultural research.

  7. The report advocates for the adoption of ‘climate-smart’ policies – like producing new crop varieties and developing seed distribution systems – to mitigate the impact of climate change. It also advocates for the liberalisation of agri-food trade. It presents liberalisation of trade (through a reduction in tariffs, for instance) as a safeguard against food insecurity in developing countries

  8. Extreme weather events coupled with erratic or prolonged heat and rainfall cause large losses in crops. The report notes that farmers’ access to mobile phones and the internet helps them manage climate crises better. However, globally less than 40 per cent of farmers working in small farms (less than one hectare) have mobile internet connections

  9. The report recommends the use of clean sustainable energy for agriculture in rural areas. It also encourages the use of ‘genome-edited’ crops which can easily adapt to the changing climate.

  10. More than 50 per cent of Africa’s population is dependent on rainfed agriculture (dependant on rainfall for water), which is extremely likely to be impacted by climate change.

  11. For South, East and South-east Asia the report recommends policy actions such as subsidies on fertilisers. The report also suggests diversification of crops by switching from the production of a single crop to a combination of region-specific crops. It recommends setting up comprehensive and more equitable public programmes to transform food systems in the region.

    Focus and Factoids by Akshita Hazarika.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


International Food Policy Research Institute, USA


International Food Policy Research Institute, USA


12 May, 2022