August 30, 2021


CropLife: Farmers in Southeast Asia's major crop-producing countries claim climate change as key challenge



A finding officially released on August 30 has highlighted a key challenge with regional food production - chiefly that a significant number of growers in Southeast Asia's largest agricultural-producing countries are concerned with the impact of climate change (68.5%), according to CropLife Asia.


This finding, part of new research titled the 2021 ASEAN Farmer Sustainability & Resilience Study, was conducted by leading agricultural and animal health market research company Kynetec and carried out in the first quarter of 2021. CropLife Asia contracted with Kynetec to conduct the survey among 525 corn, rice, fruit and vegetable farmers across Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.


"Farmers across Southeast Asia are facing increasing challenges that threaten their livelihood, food supply chain resiliency and the sustainable supply of safe and nutritious food on which we all depend," Dr. Siang Hee Tan, executive director of CropLife Asia, said. "As the prevalence of climate change-induced droughts, floods and erratic weather patterns continue to grow, Southeast Asia's smallholder farmers are under tremendous pressure to cope. There is no food and agriculture stakeholder more important than our farmers – and no voice more critical than theirs in the debate around how to make our food systems more resilient. We owe these food heroes our attention and full support."


While over 68% of farmers surveyed noted the effects of climate change as a challenge of unique concern, the number of farmers from the Philippines and Vietnam raising their concern with climate change was particularly high. In those countries, the number was 77% and 70% respectively.


The innovative technologies of plant science continue to enable farmers to produce more safe and nutritious food with fewer impacts to the world, CropLife Asia said. Biotech crops have been developed with improved traits such as increased yield, better resistance to pests and/or improved nutrition, among others – and allow for sequestration of carbon in the soil through practices such as no-till farming. These are crucial tools that help farmers address global challenges such as food insecurity and climate change.


Meanwhile, farmers rely on crop protection products (or pesticides) to grow more food on less land and raise productivity per hectare. Without pesticides, 40% of global rice and corn harvests could be lost every year. These losses in yield would likely mean additional land would need to be cleared for agriculture, leading to increased carbon emissions.


More findings from the 2021 ASEAN Farmer Sustainability & Resilience Study are scheduled to be released throughout the remainder of 2021.


- CropLife Asia