How climate change drove food insecurity in the 2007 Lesotho drought

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
  • In 2007, a severe drought in Lesotho and South Africa drastically reduced crop yields and increased food prices.
  • A recent study published in Scientific Reports shows that this was worsened due to climate change fuelled by human activity.
  • It has been estimated that climate change decreased the number of farming households in Lesotho that were self-sufficient by 50%.
  • Vulnerable areas prone to food insecurity need more adaptation strategies to protect them against the future effects of climate change, write three experts.
  • Findings indicate that climate change contributed to a decline in self-sufficient households in Lesotho by 50% and caused a decrease in the average household purchasing power by 37%.
  • As a result, the price of maize doubled in Lesotho, compared to 2005, making it unaffordable for many – 20% of the country’s population required emergency food assistance.
  • Large-scale droughts can have cascading impacts on all four pillars – droughts reduce yields, which may result in food price spikes and trigger changes in the amount and stability of food consumption.
  • In particular, it is the subsistence farmers with relatively small agricultural fields and large households that are pushed from a self-sufficient to an insufficient situation.

Read original report here!