The impact of Disasters on agriculture
and food security

Avoiding and reducing losses
through investment in resilience

THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS. An average of 12 000 hectares of crops like cotton, corn and walnut were affected by rain and river overflows.
©Toon de Vos/

Disasters are resulting in unprecedented levels of destruction across the world. These shocks and disruptions affect the functioning and sustainability of agricultural production and threaten the livelihoods of millions of people reliant on agrifood systems. Reducing the impact of disasters on agriculture requires a better understanding of their negative impacts on agriculture and necessitates an investigation into the underlying risks that make agriculture vulnerable to the effects of disasters.

This report provides an assessment of losses caused by disasters in agricultural production over the past three decades and delves into the diverse threats and impacts affecting the crops, livestock, forestry, and fisheries and aquaculture subsectors. These impacts are amplified by underlying factors and vulnerabilities created by social and environmental conditions such as climate change, global pandemics and epidemics, and conflict situations, which can generate disastrous outcomes and produce cascading effects across agrifood systems. Facing up to these challenges demands new approaches to risk reduction and response mechanisms. This publication provides examples of actions and strategies for investing in resilience and proactively addressing risks in agriculture. It demonstrates ways to mainstream disaster risk reduction into agricultural practices and policies and calls for a deeper understanding of the context in which these solutions are implemented.