Agricultural Research in 21st Century: Challenges Facing the Food Security under the Impacts of Climate Change

1 Agro Bio Institute, BG - 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
2 Institute of Agriculture, BG - 8400 Karnobat, Bulgaria
3 BAS, Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, BG - 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
4 Joint Genomic Center, BG – 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria


ABUMHADI, N., E. TODOROVSKA, B. ASSENOV, S. TSONEV, D. VULCHEVA, D. VULCHEV, L. ATANASOVA, S. SAVOVA and A. ATANASSOV, 2012. Agricultural Research in 21st century: Challenges facing the food security under the impacts of climate change. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 18: 801-818

During the recent decades, global climate change recognized as one of the most serious challenges facing the world – its people, the environment and its economies. Agriculture will face significant challenges in the 21st century, largely due to the need to increase global food supply under the declining availability of soil and water resources and increasing threats from climate change. Nonetheless, these challenges also offer opportunities to develop and promote food and livelihood systems that have greater environmental, economic and social resilience to risk. It is clear that success in meeting these challenges will require both the application of current multidisciplinary knowledge, and the development of a range of technical and institutional innovations. The changing climate is also a major challenge for agriculture and agricultural policy-making. Agriculture needs to address the double challenge of reducing its greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs) while at the same time adapting to projected impacts of climate change. In 2003, Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley outlined Humanity’s Top Ten Problems for the next 50 years, in a talk given for the MIT Enterprise Forum. According to Professor Smalley, the biggest problems facing humanity are: Energy, Water, Food, Environment, Poverty, Terrorism and War, Disease, Education, Democracy and Population. The goal of the present study is to summarize main findings regarding some of these problems focusing on changes in climate conditions and to provide an overview of major challenges facing the global food and agricultural system in the 21st century and the impacts of the climate change. In the future, the review studies will focus on expanding the research for some specific challenges of climate change (Drought, cold, salinity) and its impact on agriculture.

Key words: Abiotic stresses, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Climate change, Food security, Drought, Cold, Salinity

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