Agriculture on the proving ground: damage and loss
Available data shows us that an increased occurrence and intensity of disasters is the new normal.
Within the first few months of 2020, huge swarms of desert locusts began ravaging countries across the Greater Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Southwest Asia - just one more hit to farmers already impacted by floods, cyclones, hailstorms, animal diseases, droughts, and other shocks.
By its end, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named systems, far surpassing the usual 12-storm annual average.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating lives, livelihoods, and economies the world over.
Agriculture and the billions of farmers who keep the rest of us fed bear the brunt of such shocks - more than any other productive sector. Disasters take lives, but also devastate rural livelihoods, destroy food, and drive up hunger.