Dateline Southeast Asia

Climate change could draw 2m more Filipinos into hunger

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Climate change Halal

A further 2m Filipinos risk hunger at an annual cost of some PHP145bn (US$3bn) by 2050, though effective policymaking could reduce the impact.

The International Food Policy Research Institute found that reforming agricultural trade policies and eliminating rice subsidies, while investing in R&D to increase crop productivity and expand irrigation, could mitigate some of the worst damage caused by climate change. 

Ifpri estimates that changing climates are responsible for reducing total crop production by 1.7% annually, which is particularly troublesome in light of the Philippines’ growing population. 

The Statistics Authority projects residents will top 142m by 2045—an increase of more than 50% since 2010. 

Corn production is projected to be 13% lower in 2050 than it would be without climate change, and rice 3.2% lower, according to Ifpri forecasts. 

Moreover, as climate change affects production, it will also affect prices. Substantial increases are expected by 2050 for cereals (24%), fruits and vegetables (13%), and meat (4%), compared with their projected prices without climate change. 

The question isn’t whether climate change will negatively impact agriculture in the Philippines; the question is to what degree​,” said Mark Rosegrant, lead author of one of Ifpri’s recent studies. 

Agriculture accounts for one-third of employment in the Philippines and the country is particularly susceptible to the effects of changes in climate. Policymakers need to plan for these impacts and design policies to counter the damage​.” 

Some negative effects could be mitigated by optimising fertiliser use, planting climate-smart seeds that are more resistant to drought and heat, or changing planting dates. 

These could increase rice yields by 6% and corn yields by 4%, Ifpri predicts, while more advanced technologies could boost rice production by more than 20%. 

Yet without these methods, the research found that climate change would have a large and negative effect on maize production, and a modestly negative effect on rice, sugarcane, and bananas. Conversely, coconut production looks to rise slightly. 

The effects of climate change will vary quite dramatically depending on the region and crop, but our models are designed to help policymakers make the right investments today to mitigate climate consequences in the future​,” said Timothy Thomas, a research fellow who conducted a second environmental study for the institute. 

Released at COP22 recently in Morocco, this study also notes that there is an additional economic cost to climate change in lost productivity. The World Bank estimates that these loses can be as high as 10% of income over a lifetime. 

More stories from Southeast Asia…

Expansion-minded distributor JJ opens formulation lab in Thailand

Regional distribution major Jebsen & Jessen has launched a new ingredient innovation centre to adapt international products for the Southeast Asian market.


Based in Thailand, the new location will employ food scientists and technicians and operate a range of analysis and prototyping equipment. It will be the first dedicated JJ lab for the food industry. 

It will operate alongside another brand new innovation centre for the personal care market. The two labs will support JJ’s customers in designing new product applications by experimenting with their ingredients.

Having these innovation centres located in the region helps our customers and principals innovate, formulate and adapt faster to the dynamic Asean markets​,” said Marc Deschamps, chief executive of JJ Ingredients. 

Besides having ingredients adapted to specific local needs and palates of Southeast Asian customers and consumers, we can also provide technical assistance and support within the same time-zone and conduct testing more quickly​.”  

JJ will use the new facilities to produce samples and prototypes within the region and conduct batch testing of products.

The company has embarked on a strategic expansion by offering value-added services such as research and application development to customers. 

Having the right infrastructure on hand is an important growth factor for many companies in the industry, JJ said in a statement.

Malaysia offers to advise Japanese halal industry ahead of Olympics

Malaysia has offered to advise the Japanese halal industry, which its prime minister says holds great potential for Islamic products. 


Najib Razak estimated that demand for halal products would increase during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

“Athletes and tourists from Islamic countries will need halal food and products during the Olympic Games in 2020,” he told journalists at the end of a working visit to Japan. Tokyo will host the summer Games in August 2020. 

Najib said he offered Malaysia’s halal expertise to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after noting growing interest in Japan as a destination among tourists from Muslim-majority countries including Malaysia. 

Malaysia’s halal standards are widely considered to be among the world’s most credible, and are accepted by the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. 

The country’s Department for Islamic Development, Jakim, supervises the use of Malaysia’s halal stamp by 54 certification bodies in 32 countries.

"Halal products here will be easily accepted if Malaysia is appointed as advisor to Japan's halal industry​," Najib said. 

In a visit to Japan last May, Najib’s deputy, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also chairman of the Malaysian Halal Council, raised the matter of Malaysian halal standards at a meeting with his counterpart, Taro Aso, who is also Japan's finance minister.

Givaudan chooses Singapore for new regional flavour centre

The world’s biggest flavour and fragrance company has invested S$7m (US$5m) to expand its flavour innovation centre in Singapore.


The centre will be home to the Asia-Pacific campus of the Givaudan Flavour School, which sets out to train the region’s next generation of flavourists.

The expansion will include a new integrated culinary space for concept development, as well as new or expanded savoury, bakery, confectionery, beverage and dairy facilities.

It augments Givaudan’s R&D operations in the region to bring a “focus on applied innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing, to complement its global network​”, the company said in a statement. 

The expansion of the Singapore flavour innovation centre supports our strategy of investment in high-growth markets, and builds on our recent developments in Japan, Pakistan and India​,” said chief executive Gilles Andrier. 

It demonstrates our continued commitment to growing with our customers and providing them with differentiated flavour solutions for consumer preferred products that meet local market needs​.”

The facilities will help Givaudan to tap into regional trends such as the needs of a middle-class concerned wth health and wellness that do not want to compromise on taste, he added.

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1 comment


Posted by entrance,

All these numbers are based on the assumption, that there won't be any further deforestation? I assume, these numbers are all a little bit too hight, because there will be some further deforestation.

But i am also of the opinion, that the population density of the Philippines is already rather high, approximately 345 people per square kilometer. That's compareable with Japan or India. And the population growth doesn't make it better. A very interesting graph: Philippines area is approximately 300000 square kilometer. With a population of 142 million people the population density would be approxemately 473. That's almost as high as South Korea.

But it could be worse:

Bangladesh: 1121 people per square kilometer
Singapore: 7797 people per square kilometer

Concerning Singapore: Imagine a football pitch with 7140 square meters. You would see 55 people on this zone. This would correlate with 5 teams, instead of 2. Unbelievable, isn't it?

I always say, that radioactive waste and overpopulation are probably our 2 biggest problems. Some countries already try to slow down the growth of their population. Of course China and India are the most known examples.

Overpopulation causes a lot of problems. For example:

- In this article already mentioned lack of food in some decades. This will lead to conflicts and mass migrations. Poor people will be forced to buy cheaper genetically modified food.
- Mass extinction of animal species. Deforestation reduces their possible habitat. Overfishing in seas. Meat eating preditors are our competitors.
- Water and air pollution, causing global warming and climate change, causing declining precipitation in subtropics and expanding deserts.
- Increased emergence of new epidemics and pandemics, especially in countries with high population density.

Also Europe will be affected by all these problems. A lot of people from South Asia and Africa will want to come to Europe. But the European countries will refuse most of the refugees.

So we should really try to reduce the world population. This would automatically solve a lot of problems. I am ready to help.

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