Part 2 Impact of disasters in agriculture

REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA. Man-made fire burning a forest. FAO is developing training modules to increase the sustainable management of forests across the world.
©FAO/Luis Tato

Key messages

  • Over the last 30 years, an estimated USD 3.8 trillion worth of crops and livestock production has been lost as a result of disaster events, corresponding to an average loss of USD 123 billion per year or 5 percent of annual global agricultural GDP. This total value of losses over 30 years is approximately equivalent to Brazil’s GDP in 2022.
  • Average losses over 30 years have increased across all the main agricultural product groups, with an average of 69 million tonnes of cereals, 40 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables and 16 million tonnes of meat, dairy products and eggs lost annually due to extreme events. These amounts are significant: they correspond to little more than the entire 2021 production of cereals in France, of fruits and vegetables in Japan and Viet Nam, and of meats, dairy products and eggs in Mexico and India.
  • Data from post disaster needs assessments shows that nearly 23 percent of total economic losses due to disasters were sustained by the agriculture sector.
  • Lower-income and lower-middle-income countries sustained the highest losses due to extreme events, up to 10 percent of their agricultural GDP. Losses in SIDS account for about 7 percent of their agricultural GDP.
  • Extreme temperatures, droughts, floods and storms are the leading hazards for creating losses in agriculture across the world.
  • Agricultural production losses translate into significantly reduced nutrient availability, with a loss of dietary energy estimated at 147 kcal per person per day at the global level from 1991 to 2021. This is equivalent to the average requirement of around 400 million men or 500 million women during one year.
  • Data for describing the impact of disasters on agriculture is partial and inconsistent, especially in the fisheries and aquaculture and forestry subsectors. There is an urgent need for improving data collection to support evidence-based policies, practices and solutions for risk reduction and resilience building in agriculture.

back to top