With growing populations of millions in their cities and facing a higher risk from climate change and associated affects on agriculture, many Asian nations would benefit from investing heavily in urban and indoor agriculture, stated the UN Agency the World Meteorological Organization this week.
The WMO, which investigates weather, climate and water, reported that seven of the ten countries most affected by extreme weather in 2006 were Asian nations – Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia, North Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. Problems have ranged from drought in recent years in central and southwest Asian countries to floods this year in China and Bangladesh.
With a rising population, food supply is crucial and “indoor and urban agriculture is receiving special attention to make most efficient use of space using controlled environments,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud following a three-day meeting in Hanoi on sustainable farming.
The WMO also stated that farmers should be assisted in deciding which crops to grow by improving seasonal prediction, developing early warning systems and monitoring for regional droughts. The agency called on countries to provide the latest information on the impact of climate change on water resources, and assess whether modern or traditional methods of collecting rainwater were best for them.