International Fund for Agricultural Development / International Water Management Institute

Hungry Asia: Growing more food with less water

Wednesday 31 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: FH 307
Hungry Asia - Growing More Food with Less Water (ADB Photo Library)

Agriculture remains the major user of water resources, accounting for about 70% of diversions. Agriculture will have to produce 60% more food globally by 2050, and 100% more in developing countries using the same finite water resources. Estimates for Asia predict a 65% increase in industrial water use, 30% increase in domestic use, and a 5% increase in agriculture use by 2030. These estimates suggest growing and acute competition among the principal water users.

Competing demands make water a highly politicized issue. The idea that water should be treated as an economic good has become a widely recognized but a highly contested principle. The session will review current thinking on water and food security and invited political economists will debate on water as an economic good and its significance in the political economy of the region.


9:00 Introduction to the session

09:05 Food security in Asia

09:15 Climate change in the mountains and its implications on food Security in the plains

09:25 Investing in water access and efficient use for small farmers

09:35 Building climate resilience into agricultural water management

09:45 Moderated discussion Moderator

10:00 Debate in political economy of water: Considering water as an economic good and the relationship with political economies of water in Asia

Three political economists will debate examples of the political economy of water and impacts on efforts to provide food security for the growing populations of Asia.
Chair – TBC

10:25 Wrap-up