Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 1017–1036 | Cite as

Climate change and food security: a Sri Lankan perspective

  • Mohamed EshamEmail author
  • Brent Jacobs
  • Hewage Sunith Rohitha Rosairo
  • Balde Boubacar Siddighi


There is growing concern in Sri Lanka over the impact of climate change, variability and extreme weather events on food production, food security and livelihoods. The link between climate change and food security has been mostly explored in relation to impacts on crop production or food availability aspects of food security, with little focus on other key dimensions, namely food access and food utilization. This review, based on available literature, adopted a food system approach to gain a wider perspective on food security issues in Sri Lanka. It points to several climate-induced issues posing challenges for food security. These issues include declining agriculture productivity, food loss along supply chains, low livelihood resilience of the rural poor and prevalence of high levels of undernourishment and child malnutrition. Our review suggests that achieving food security necessitates action beyond building climate resilient food production systems to a holistic approach that is able to ensure climate resilience of the entire food system while addressing nutritional concerns arising from impacts of climate change. Therefore, there is a pressing need to work towards a climate-smart agriculture system that will address all dimensions of food security. With the exception of productivity of a few crop species, our review demonstrates the dearth of research into climate change impacts on Sri Lanka’s food system. Further research is required to understand how changes in climate may affect other components of the food system including productivity of a wider range of food crops, livestock and fisheries, and shed light on the causal pathways of climate-induced nutritional insecurity.


Climate change Food security Food systems Sri Lanka 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Esham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brent Jacobs
    • 2
  • Hewage Sunith Rohitha Rosairo
    • 1
  • Balde Boubacar Siddighi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agricultural SciencesSabaragamuwa University of Sri LankaBelihuloyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.Institute for Sustainable FuturesUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  3. 3.The University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study (UTIAS), Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S)The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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