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Climate change impacts and adaptation

Photo credit: DAPA-CIAT

Adaptation measures for especially maize, common beans, Arabica coffee, banana and finger millet are urgently needed in Africa to curb future negative climate impacts. Negative impacts on livestock are projected, though more research on livestock impacts and adaptation needed to pin down region-specific responses.

African crops and livestock in a changing climate

by Julian Ramirez-Villegas

Cross-posted from the CCAFS blog.

After some intense 5-6 years of CCAFS research and impact, a set of newly released CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Working Papers highlight both climate change impacts and opportunities for African crop and livestock production systems. The papers summarise science on climate change impacts and adaptation, and present new information specifically targeted to the 42th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), held in Bonn at the beginning of June 2015.

West African countries will in particular see suitability for maize decrease, with production losses of up to 40%. Photo: J. Soares - http://dapa.ciat.cgiar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/16383112145_7fab36f666_o-600x444.jpg
West African countries will in particular see suitability for maize decrease, with production losses of up to 40%. Photo: J. Soares – http://dapa.ciat.cgiar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/16383112145_7fab36f666_o-600×444.jpg

Climate change and African crop production

The SBSTA crops paper (available here), produced in collaboration between CIAT and ILRI scientists, shows that, under our current emissions trajectory (RCP8.5, where global warming by the end of the 21st century is between 6-8 ºC), common bean, maize, banana and finger millet are projected to reduce their suitable areas significantly (30-50%) across the continent, and will need some kind of adaptation plan, or be replaced with other crops.

Read the full article: CIAT-DAPA

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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