Some of the largest food-producing regions in Asia have recently faced many crises . Russia has had devastating heat waves and fires, Thailand has endured severe drought, and Pakistan and China have suffered from flooding. This has led to a drop of 63 million mega tons of grain on the world grain market, and many of these countries are imposing export bans on rice and grain in order to provide enough food for the people in their own countries. This has had a combined effect on the global price and availability of rice and grains, causing grain prices to soar. With Asia currently inhabiting over half of the world’s hungry people, this could become a grave concern. If their stocks run low and they face the need to import food from other regions, the price will be too high for the poorest, and most vulnerable, populations to afford.
Asia is one of the world’s largest producers of food, contributing to the production of 90% of the world’s rice, but with the global population expected to rise above eight billion people by the year 2030, they will need to produce at least 50% more rice than they are currently producing in order to keep pace with the demand.
Climate change has contributed to rising sea levels along the many miles of Asian coastline, and the impact has been most noticeable in the Mekong Delta. Severe drought has left the Mekong River at its lowest level in more than 50 years . This, accompanied by rising sea levels, has caused an increased salt concentration in the river, leaving tens of thousands of hectares of farmland vulnerable to destruction, as rice is strictly a fresh water crop. Lori Lewis-The Water Project