Vulnerability of West Africa Agriculture and Food Systems to Climate Change by Robert Zougmoré


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This presentation was held during a high-level seminar in Ghana, Accra, together with parliamentarians and policy makers trying to identify how climate change will affect the country's, and the region's, agriculture sector. Learn more about our activities in West Africa:

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  • The second challenge for agriculture relates to climate change adaptation. And if there is a single graph to show this challenge then it is this one for SSA.
    Thornton from ILRI uses a four degree temperature rise scenario, which based on current commitments to reduce GHGs is a distinct possibility.
    By 2090 vast areas of Africa will have experienced >20% reduction in growing season length. And huge areas 5-20% reduction. Almost no areas have rises in growing season. This illustrates the magnitude of potential impacts on agriculture from climate change.
  • Using results from the baseline studies, we conducted a participatory monitoring & evaluation planning of the PAR work with all listed partners: communities, local extention agents, researchers, local authorities, etc.
    Gender was taken into consideration in the planning
    Then we moved with the test of identified best options for climate change adaptation
    Using the M&E tools, we evaluate the results and iterativeley bring back the new packages for testing
  • Vulnerability of West Africa Agriculture and Food Systems to Climate Change by Robert Zougmoré

    1. 1. Awareness Creation Seminar For High Level Policy Makers and Politicians in Ghana, 29 January 2014, Accra Vulnerability of West Africa Agriculture and Food Systems to Climate Change: The Need For Action through Climate-Smart Agriculture Dr Robert Zougmoré CCAFS Regional Program Leader West Africa
    2. 2. Outline 1. West Africa in brief 2. Key challenges 3. Plausible future scenarios of agriculture 4. Needs for actions at all levels 2
    3. 3. Socio economic overview of West Africa Population in 2010 was about 290 million. Agricultural sector employs 60 % of the active labor force contributing 35 % of GDP. In 2008, per capita GDP ranged from US$128 in Guinea-Bissau to more than US$1,500 in Cape Verde, with all other countries having less than US$ 500 •Vegetation and Land use •Under-five mortality is between 100 and 200/1000. An average of about 70–80 percent of the population lives on less than US$2 per day • The majority of the countries have a life expectancy of between 50 and 60 years.
    4. 4. Natural Resource Endowment in WA 10.3 % exploited in West Africa Arable Land 236 million ha 10 % developed Irrigable Land 8.9 million ha Significant pastoral and fisheries resources However, West African economies are especially vulnerable to climate change as a result of their heavy dependence on rainfed agriculture.
    5. 5. Major challenges • increase agricultural production among resource-poor farmers without exacerbating environmental problems • and simultaneously coping with climate change (adaptation). 5
    6. 6. Length of growing season is likely to decline.. Length of growing period (%) To 2090, taking 18 climate models Four degree rise Thornton et al. (2010) Proc. National Academy Science >20% loss 5-20% loss No change 5-20% gain >20% gain 6
    7. 7. Scenarios for the future 7
    8. 8. Analytical framework • Integrates modeling components (macro to micro, to model range of processes, from those driven by economics to those that are essentially biological in nature (IMPACT, HYDROLOGY, DSSAT, GCMs…) • Used hundred of scenario maps, models, figures, and their detailed analysis • To generate plausible future scenarios that combine economic and biophysical characteristics • to explore the possible consequences for agriculture, food security, and resources management to 2050 • National contributors from 11 countries reviewed the scenario results for their countries and proposed a variety of policies to counter the effects of climate change on agriculture and food security.
    9. 9. Population and income 1. A significant increase in the population of all countries except Cape Verde – pessimistic: population of all countries will more than double except Cape Verde 2. Income per capita in the optimistic scenario could range from US$ 1,594 for Liberia to US$ 6,265 for Cote d’Ivoire. 3. Income per capita does not improve significantly in the pessimistic scenario.
    10. 10. Rainfall Despite variations among models, there is a clear indication of: 1.changes in precipitation with either a reduction in the heavy-rainfall areas, particularly along the coast, 2.or an increase in areas of the Sahel hitherto devoid of much rain. 3.Southern parts of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria will be dryer Change in average annual precipitation, 2000–2050, CSIRO, A1B (mm) MIROC, A1B (mm)
    11. 11. Changes in yields (percent), 2010–2050, from the DSSAT crop model: CSIRO A1B MIROC A1B Maize Groundnut Sorghum
    12. 12. Regional/landscape implications Coastal West Africa Sahelian region Drought and floods could affect productivity and even threaten the existence of plants and animals along the coast and the Sahel, respectively Spread of malaria and trypanosomiases in hitherto dry areas in the Sahel Heavy rains could pose a serious challenge to unpaved feeder roads vital for transport of inputs to farming areas and produce to market Farmers and pastoralists may have to contend with new farming cultures including land tenure and changing food habits
    13. 13. Regional Agricultural Outcomes • World market prices for maize, rice, sorghum, and wheat predicted to increase in all scenarios, while millet price will be less in 2050 than in 2010. • The area under cultivation of millet and sorghum will increase, while the area under cultivation of maize will decrease. Production of maize, millet and sorghum is predicted to increase by 2050. • In the optimistic scenario, the number of malnourished children decreases for all the countries except Niger. In the pessimistic scenario, the number increases in all countries except Guinea Bissau and Senegal
    14. 14. We need climate-smart agriculture actions at all levels 14
    15. 15. Recommendations at regional level • Available and accessible weather data – AGRHYMET • Capacity building in climate science and need for targeted research for climate-smart technologies. • Harmonized and climate-smart use of rivers for irrigation and electricity • Conservation of natural resources, particularly forests, and the development of parks. • Sustained economic integration (common currency & trade policies) • Reliable trunk and feeder roads for free movement of goods and people throughout the region. • Effective linkage & dialogue between researchers & policy makers. 15
    16. 16. Expected yield changes of maize in Ghana • Across Ghana: yield loss for rain-fed maize is projected to be around 7.5 percent. • Some climate hotspots with yield losses greater than 25% (darker orange). The one in the northeast, in particular, is in a relatively high maize productivity area.
    17. 17. Expected yield changes of maize in Ghana • If maize happens to be the main food consumed in this area, than a large productivity loss is of serious consequence for the farming households there. • Such an area should receive high attention by policy makers, researchers, and donors, to avoid a possible crisis in the future. • In the worst case scenario for this type of area, we would expect high incentives for climate migration, with adverse effects on other rural areas and cities! • Areas with yield gain of at least 25% must also be considered climate opportunities!!!!
    18. 18. What can be done for farmers living in this area? • Developing new maize varieties suitable to the new climate. • If irrigation is possible, then irrigation may allow farmers to plant in a cooler time of the year. • Using agroforestry systems to provide shade for the crops and thus cooling the soils at the hottest part of the day. • If an alternative crop (perhaps millet) is more heat tolerant, farmers could switch to the alternative crop. • Switching into livestock, if technically feasible for the area, may be an alternative. • If no alternative farming solution, government to consider offering voluntary relocation to a different area, or investing in rural industry that might be appropriate for providing alternative employment to farmers.
    19. 19. Climate-smart villages in Ghana (Doggoh), Burkina (Tibtenga), Senegal (Kaffrine), Mali (Cinzana) Concrete action at community level: 1.increase agricultural productivity and farmers’ income; 2.strengthen the resilience of ecosystems and livelihoods to climate change; 3.and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate services Designed diversification Climatesmart village Weather insurance Partnership -NARS -Extension -NGOs -Universities -Developt. partners -Private sector -CBOs, Local leaders Community management of resources Capacity building Mitigation /C seq 19
    20. 20. Thank you! Stay in touch sign up for science, policy and news e-bulletins follow us on twitter @cgiarclimate