Food Crisis Threatens Bolivia Due to Climate Change
    2010-08-23 10:54:32     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Xu
 

Persistent drought, cold weather and flooding, all attributed to climate change, are threatening Bolivia with a food crisis, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and experts have recently warned.

FAO coordinator Einstein Tejada said one fifth of Bolivia's territory now suffer from the effects of climate change, causing food prices to rise.

The most vulnerable zone is the Andean area, hit by a long-running drought, he added.

According to the government, more than 16,000 head of cattle and over 24,000 hectares of wheat, bean, corn and other crops have been affected by the drought.

"Bolivia is affected by all the climate phenomenon in the world" except the hurricanes, he said.

Despite the government's efforts to lessen these effects on agriculture and livestock, the impact on food security will be felt, as well as imbalances in the ecosystems, he said.

"We cannot deny the strong impact climate change has on the production systems," he added.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) said the drought and cold weather would fuel inflation due to the negative impact on food production.

The drought is a possible risk for the impact on food production, BCB President Gabriel Loza told Xinhua on Saturday.

Economic analyst Luis Ballivian said growth in the agriculture-livestock sector dropped 0.5 percent in the first half of 2010 due to the drought and cold weather, causing higher food prices.

"The projections for the last six months of 2010 say that the inflation gradually will stabilize around the long term goal of 4 percent. However, by the end of the year this could increase to some 6 percent, due to the increase in food prices," Ballivian said.

In the provinces of Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca, Tarija, Cochabamba, Oruro and La Paz, food prices are threatening to soar in coming weeks.

 

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