Agriculture is a vital part of the economy in all mountain regions. In the Hindu Kush Himalaya and across the mountain slopes and highlands of East Africa, the vast majority of the rural population live off subsistence farming. In the Tropical Andes, Carpathians, Western Balkans, South Caucasus and Central Asia, agriculture remains the economic and development driver, employing a significant share of the population (despite the growing importance of industry and service sectors). In general, mountain agriculture is characterised by smaller and more fragmented plots of land compared to lowland agriculture, making cultivation time-consuming and labour intensive. Worldwide, the agricultural sector is considered to be highly vulnerable to climate change because it is directly dependent on the climate and weather patterns. This is especially true for agriculture in mountains, which is mostly rain-fed with little storage or irrigation capacity. Climate change may also lower crop yields, affecting nutritional and food security.
From collection: Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series – Synthesis Report Graphics