Climate change and the safety of food supply
Biacs, Péter Ákos
Keywords: global food supply, the safety of food supply, climate change
On the long term, Hungary must expect to face the gradual warming of its climate, a reduction in the amount of precipitation as well as an increase in the frequency, intensity and damage caused by extreme weather. The adaptive strategy must be to prepare the economy and the population for a warmer and drier period. It is reasonable to implement fast-response arrangements with respect to processes, technology and organisation to prevent the negative consequences of sudden extreme weather. The warming of the climate will affect especially the eastern and north-western regions of the country, while the central regions will be least affected. Any forecast regarding the regional distribution of changes in precipitation is very difficult, however. Although Hungary is situated on the border between zones with contrasting trends, we must expect a decrease in precipitation similar to that experienced in the Mediterranean. In crop farming, preference should be given to drought tolerant varieties of the traditional crops. Also, new crops producing mature harvest under the new circumstances should be imported from the Mediterranean. In animal farming the needs of species requiring green fodder can be met by increasing the size of irrigated land. With regard to the dietary habits of the Hungarian population, the so-called ‘Mediterranean diet’ should be promoted, also relying on the possibilities of extensive food trade made possible by the European Union.