Fiji’s food security and its quality’s susceptibility to climate change was highlighted during a side event of the 41st Session FAO Conference in Rome, Italy.

While speaking on Fiji’s experience regarding obesity, climate change and the availability of food, Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr. Mahendra Reddy highlighted that complex challenges in food security and malnutrition continued to be faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as it was compounded by climate change, undernourishment and volatile food prices.

Reddy also reiterated that the Fijian Government would continue its unwavering battle to address Climate Change; “Climate change is affecting food availability, it reduces access to food and affect’s the food quality in Fiji. For example, projected increases in temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns, changes in extreme weather events, and reductions in water availability may all result in reduced agricultural productivity and its implications extend across all determinants of malnutrition,” he said.

Minister Reddy also raised the indirect and direct impacts of climate change on human health which included injury, disease and death from extreme heat and cold, cyclones, floods and droughts.

“Indirect impacts include increases in vector-borne, water-borne, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal diseases and psychosocial impacts from increase in the range and number of diseases spreading vectors, compromised food and water sources, livelihood losses and population displacement.

“Fiji is especially vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change, due to its small geographical size, exposure to extreme climate events and a small economy that depends largely on natural resources,” he added.

“Food security will be achieved when the country is able to produce safe, healthy, and affordable food for all Fijians at all times and through strategic partnerships with our global partners such as FAO, all of us can focus on and share our collective experiences to pursue our primary goal – the total eradication of hunger globally and identify best measures of withstanding the effect of Climate Change,” said Minister Reddy.

Source: PACNEWS, Fiji Government

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