“Our food preferences are very important for climate change” - interview with Lennart Olsson
Ahead of the Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate event on 19th May, we interviewed Lennart Olsson from LUCSUS about his contribution during the day.
What will you focus on in your talk on food supply and climate change?
I will highlight the big trends we can expect for the coming decades in terms of productivity changes of main crops (primarily cereals), cropping regions, and groups of farmers (north/south, high-input/low-input farming).
What are the most important facts you would like highlight in relation to food and climate change?
If you look at near and mid-term it is likely to show mixed impacts (increased productivity in temperate regions, decreasing in tropical and sub-tropical regions), after 2050, we will see decreasing trends worldwide.
But adaptation measures are possible – diverse small farms are more adaptive than large specialised ones. But we cannot see food production as agriculture only – the whole value chain must be considered; linking both consumers and producers.
What are the most prevailing myths in the area?
I don’t think there are any myths, but there is lots of ignorance.
Will you bring any LUCSUS' research to bear on the area?
Yes, I will mention briefly what we do in our projects (e.g. Agromes, Land grabbing, Understanding Subsistence, Perennial agriculture in Uganda, IPCC).
What would you like the public to take away with them after the event?
I want the public to take away the message that our food preferences are very important - both for climate change and development prospects in the Global South. We will have to change some of our preferences if we want to create a more sustainable future for food, food production and consumption.
The event is part of Sustainability Week – a programme of events featuring a number of LUCSUS staff. Lennart Olsson will also speak about these issues at the grand opening of the week, at the Global Goals Cafe.