The estimated loss of crops and livestock in the last 30 years is said to be worth $3.8 trillion according to the the Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The loss is averaged to be worth 5% of annual global agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) equivalent to $123 billion per year.

FAO released a report titled ‘The impact of disasters on agriculture and food security ‘ which has revealed an estimation for the effect of disasters on agriculture production.

It highlights the need for improving data on the impact of disasters on all subsectors of agriculture to create data systems that can serve as the base, where effective action can be constructed.

The report also indicates that losses related to major agricultural products are showing an increasing trend.

Loss of crops and livestock – FAO

The FAO report revealed the disasters on lower middle income countries affected 15% of their total GDP, inflicting the highest relative losses on them.

The disasters also affected small Island Developing States (SIDS), losing almost 7% of their GDP.

The loss of cereals in the last three decades, amounted to an average of 69 million tonnes per year. According to the report that loss is corresponding to the entire cereal production of France in 2021.

Fruits and vegetables and sugar crops underwent a near average loss of 40 million tonnes per year.

There was an average estimated loss of 16 million tonnes per year for meats, dairy products and eggs, which corresponded to the whole production of meats, dairy products and eggs in Mexico and India in 2021.

Director-General QU Dongyu of FAO stated: “Agriculture is one of the most highly exposed and vulnerable sectors in the context of disaster risk, given its profound dependence on natural resources and climate conditions.

“Recurrent disasters have the potential to erode gains in food security and undermine the sustainability of agri-food systems.”

He added that the publication, showcases a chance to address risks to the agricultural food systems.

It added that losses were higher in high-income countries, lower-middle-income countries and upper-middle-income countries, but low-income countries, and especially SIDS, suffered the highest incidence of losses in agricultural added value.

The most vulnerable farmers in the agri-food systems are smallholding farmers.