On the Edge: Linking Climate Change, Food Security, and Population in Ethiopia


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Findings of a recent analysis of the linkages between climate change, food security, and population in Ethiopia.

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On the Edge: Linking Climate Change, Food Security, and Population in Ethiopia

  1. 1. Welcome to [event name…].Today we are pleased to share with you the results of a recent analysis of the linkagesbetween climate change, food security, and population in Ethiopia. It draws on a widerange of Ethiopian and international data, including a modeling framework developed bythe Futures Group, with support from the Measure Evaluation Project and the PackardFoundation.Many Ethiopians today remain vulnerable to shocks to the food system, putting them onthe edge of food security. Today we will explore how climate change is expected to affectthe agricultural system and the ability of Ethiopians to achieve food security. While manyadaptation strategies address agricultural systems, we will also look at the other side offood security: population. 1
  2. 2. There are three areas we will look at:Climate change will decrease agricultural outputs in the future, thus challenging foodsecurity.Food security is already a concern today for the people of Ethiopia, especially the poor.Family planning is one of many adaptation strategies Ethiopia may choose. 2
  3. 3. During this presentation we will hear voices from many Ethiopian farmers.And they have already begun to notice the effects of climate change in their lives. 3
  4. 4. What do we mean by “food security”?There are several definitions but we define it as a situation when the supply and demandfor food are in balance; that is, when there is sufficient food for a given population.The supply of food is what Ethiopia produces locally plus food imports.The demand for food is household consumption, for both people and their livestock. 4
  5. 5. There are many factors that can lead to food insecurity. One is climate change, because itcan threaten food production.In a minute we will see how changes in temperature and rainfall can affect agriculturalproduction. 5
  6. 6. Farmers can adapt to the threats of climate change in several ways by techniques thatincrease the supply. Examples of production factors are:• Seed varieties;• Fertilizers;• Technology;• Area under cultivation; and• Water managementThese strategies will be crucial in increasing Ethiopia’s supply of food to satisfy the needs ofits growing population, especially in the face of climate change. 6
  7. 7. Another set of adaptation strategies focuses on decreasing or managing the overalldemand for food. Examples of demand-side factors are:• Population;• Poverty; and• InequalityToday’s presentation will focus on the role of managing population growth as oneadaptation strategy to improve food security in the face of climate change. 7
  8. 8. First let’s review where Ethiopia is today in several relevant areas. 8
  9. 9. Climate change has two main dimensions: rising temperatures and erratic rainfall.We have all heard about global warming and Ethiopia has not been immune. Here we seethat average temperatures in Ethiopia have increased in the recent past. Averagetemperatures have increased 1.3 degree Celsius from 1960 to 2006. 9
  10. 10. Climate change scientists’ forecasts predict this trend of increasing temperatures willcontinue.Here we see the forecasts of three scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange; all three show continued rising temperatures. Forecasts estimate an additionalincrease of between 1.5 and 5.1 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. 10
  11. 11. Another aspect of climate change is variation in rainfall patterns. Too little or too muchwater can be challenging to farmers.A recent survey found that most farmers have experienced drought and over 20% havefaced flooding at some point during the year. As we can see, both of these shocks haveincreased from 2008 to 2010. 11
  12. 12. Another aspect of climate change is variation in rainfall patterns. Too little or too muchwater can be challenging to farmers.A recent survey found that most farmers have experienced drought and over 40% havefaced flooding at some point during the year. As we can see, both of these shocks haveincreased from 2008 to 2010. 12
  13. 13. As farmers around the country note, these changes affect their crops.A farmer notes that “Productivity is declining. Enset and coffee do not produce the same asbefore.” 13
  14. 14. Agricultural and climate change research are consistent with the observations of farmers.Temperature increases and erratic rainfall due to climate change are decreasing theproductivity of crops around the world. As climate change continues we expect this toworsen. Here we see that maize yields are expected to decrease by about 22% in EastAfrica. Yields for other crops, and in other parts of the world, are also decreasing. 14
  15. 15. Family farms in Ethiopia face many challenges that add to the threat of lower yields. Theseinclude:Insufficient use of fertilizers, irrigation, improved seed varieties, and technologyDecreasing plot size with each generationNo space for livestock and open grazingRemote areas’ lack of access to markets leads to selling at low pricesWastage in production and transport 15
  16. 16. “The rain doesn’t come at the usual, expected time and the temperature is increasing.There are many problems because of climate change, and the indigenous way of farmingcan’t support my family anymore.” 16
  17. 17. The US Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) monitors the food situation in Africa on acontinuous basis. In their latest assessment much of Ethiopia today is facing a precariousfood security situation. The map shows that large parts of the country are considered in astate of emergency, crisis, or stressed. 17
  18. 18. Food security is not only a matter of crop yields and production; it is also intimately linkedwith poverty.In Ethiopia poverty has decreased from 35% to 29%, yet 23 million Ethiopians remain inpoverty. 18
  19. 19. A recent survey shows the extent of food insecurity in rural Ethiopia. 19
  20. 20. The poor face more food security challenges than do the rich. Here we can see that thepoorest households – on the left side of the graph – spend 5 months per year withoutenough food, while the wealthiest households – on the right side of the graph – spendabout one month per year without enough food. 20
  21. 21. Food consumption is also lowest among the poor. Recent data show that their calorieconsumption averages 1672 kcal per day, while the wealthiest consume 2367 kcal.Using FAO methodology for estimating human energy requirements, we calculated thedaily kcal need for an average person in Ethiopia. Kcal requirements for individuals varyaccording to their age, gender, size, physical activity level, and pregnancy state. Thus ourcalculation of average kcal requirements reflects Ethiopia’s population composition.[after animation]We estimate that the average Ethiopian needs about 2212 kcal of energy per day. As wecan see, only the wealthiest 40% of rural Ethiopians meet this requirement, while thepoorest 60% have insufficient food consumption . 21
  22. 22. Agricultural challenges and poverty combine to create food insecurity.“Feeding a family is a challenge for women. Food prices often increase and sometimes wedon’t have enough to eat, especially when there is a shortage of rainfall.” 22
  23. 23. Food security is not only a matter of agricultural productivity; it is also a question ofpoverty.One indicator that is linked to poverty is the percentage of household expenditures that arespent on food. The higher the percentage that goes towards food, the more vulnerable thatfamilies are to changes in food prices.Here we see that poorer families – again to the left of the graph – devote a largerpercentage of their expenditures to food than do the wealthier families on the right on thegraph. This is consistent with the pattern in other countries and is often described as“Engel’s Law.” 23
  24. 24. Household size also affects food consumption. Households with many people, to the righton this graph, only spend about 7,000 Birr annually per person to purchase food.Households with fewer people, to the left of the graph, have more resources to spend onfood for each person.This is another marker of poverty, this time for large households. 24
  25. 25. Plot size, which has been falling among rural households, also influences foodconsumption. People living on plots of less than half a hectare – to the left on the graph –spend far less per person on food than do people living on large plots.This is yet another marker of poverty for those with small plots of land.Small plot size is often a sign of rural crowding. Some agricultural areas in Ethiopia haveexperienced a population explosion living on a finite land size, resulting in the subdivisionof plots amongst heirs. The plots of many in today’s generation are far smaller than in theirgrandparents’ generation, and often do not produce enough crops – cash and subsistence –to feed their large families. 25
  26. 26. The Ethiopian government has recognized these issues and is implementing acomprehensive response to food security and poverty, called the Productive Safety NetsProgramme, or PSNP. It is the largest anti-poverty and food security program in Africa,outside of South Africa, and covers about 10% of the Ethiopian population, or about 8million people. There is regional variation in programme coverage, with Tigray and Afarhaving the highest coverage. 26
  27. 27. Ethiopia’s population has grown tremendously in recent years.The 1984 Census showed a population of 40 million,[animation] growing to 53 million in 1994.[animation] The most recent Census, in 2007, counted 74 millionpeople within the same borders.[animation] Today’s population is an estimated 82 millionpeople. 27
  28. 28. Now that we have reviewed Ethiopia today, we will look at how climate change might affectthis picture into the future. 28
  29. 29. We used a computer model that is based on Ethiopian and international data to estimatefuture food consumption under various scenarios.We estimate that, if there were no climate change in the future, food consumption wouldincrease. However, with a growing population these increases will continue to fall short offood requirements. By 2050, we estimate an average daily kcal shortfall of 133 kcal perperson.How will climate change affect this situation? 29
  30. 30. Taking into account the effects of climate change, (primarily through its effects onagricultural productivity), we estimate that food availability will decrease in the future. Thismeans that, by the year 2050, there will be an even larger shortfall between foodconsumption and food requirements. We estimate an average daily kcal shortfall of 506kcal. 30
  31. 31. Another impact of climate change is on food prices, which are expected to increase. Herewe show the results of our model with the example of wheat. If there were no climatechange, we predict 2050 prices would be 58% higher than today, in real terms.[animation]With climate change we predict an even greater price increase. Here we see that wheatprices are about 76% higher in 2050. 31
  32. 32. Ethiopia’s population is growing rapidly, and will continue to grow into the future. 32
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. Our population projections show that Ethiopia’s population will exceed 150million by 2050. In a scenario of lower population growth, we estimate a 2050population of 154 million. In a scenario of higher population growth, weestimate a 2050 population of 194 million. 35
  36. 36. Local people are aware of this growth and the effects it has on their lives and the future.“Our population is increasing rapidly and our land holding size is diminishing with eachgeneration. If things continue as usual, feeding our children and grandchildren will be achallenge.” 36
  37. 37. Keeping in mind these population projections, based on our model we estimate that thefood requirements for Ethiopia will approximately double by 2050 under the low growthscenario. This graph shows total food requirements as measured by the total national foodenergy needed to feed the population.[animation]However, if Ethiopia follows the high growth scenario, we estimate that the total foodrequirements for all Ethiopians will be even higher. By 2050, 25% more food would beneeded to adequately feed all Ethiopians than under the low growth scenario. 37
  38. 38. Given these growth scenarios, what will food security look like for the people of Ethiopia inthe future? 38
  39. 39. Remember that, with high population growth we estimate a 506 kcal shortfall by the year2050. 39
  40. 40. Alternatively, with low population growth, we estimate that there will be only a 127 kcalshortfall in daily food consumption per person.Remember that the food shortfall in 2050 without climate change was 133 kcal. Notice thatthese two scenarios produce very similar food security outcomes! In other words, shiftingfrom high to low population growth almost precisely makes up for the decreased foodenergy consumption due to climate change. 40
  41. 41. One of the most important influences on the rate of population growth is fertility;decreases in fertility result in lower population growth. And one of the most importantfactors on fertility is the use of family planning. 41
  42. 42. Ethiopia has made impressive recent advances in contraceptive use.Here we can see a large increase in the percentage of married women using familyplanning in Ethiopia. The recent increase from 15% to 29% is one of the fastest increases inthe world, demonstrating Ethiopia’s strong commitment to family planning.Most contraceptive use in Ethiopia is modern methods. 42
  43. 43. There is wide regional variation in Ethiopia in the use of family planning. Although thenational CPR is 28.6%, regional CPRs vary from 4.3% in Somali to 62.5% in Addis Ababa. 43
  44. 44. Unmet need for family planning measures the percentage of married women who do notwant to have another child, or do not want another child in the next 2 years, yet are notusing family planning. These women are candidates for future family planning use becausethey have expressed a desire to limit or space their births.Unmet need has been decreasing in Ethiopia, but it remains high at 25% of marriedwomen. 44
  45. 45. Like the CPR, there is also wide regional variation in unmet need, from the national averageof 25.3%.The lowest unmet need is in Addis Ababa at 10.6% and the highest is in Oromiya at 29.9% 45
  46. 46. Mostly as a result of increased family planning, Ethiopia’s fertility has also beenfalling. In 1990 there was an average of 6.4 births per woman whereas in 2011 thiswas 4.8 births per woman. 46
  47. 47. While family planning has an impact of fertility and thus on the pace of population growth,it has important benefits for infant and child health. 47
  48. 48. Let’s look first at child nutrition. In these data from the recent EDHS we can see that childmalnutrition also varies from region to region. Nationally, 28.7% of children under 5 areconsidered to be underweight. Addis Ababa has the lowest percentage of underweightchildren (6.4%), while Affar has the highest (40.2%). 48
  49. 49. As we have seen that climate change can affect food consumption, and it can also affectnutrition. Our analysis suggests that climate change will increase the number ofunderweight children. Here we can see that without climate change over the next 40 yearswe expect the number of malnourished children would first increase – due to populationgrowth – and then decrease with socioeconomic development.[animation]But climate change is predicted to increase the number of malnourished children, ascompared to a scenario without climate change. This is because of the lower foodconsumption with climate change that we saw earlier and which affects children’snutritional status. 49
  50. 50. But lowering population growth (shown in green), would decrease the number ofunderweight children in Ethiopia. This is due to two related characteristics of lowerpopulation growth: first there are fewer children, and second each child has higher foodconsumption.By the year 2050 we expect 51% fewer malnourished children with low populationgrowth, as compared with high population growth. 50
  51. 51. Another measurement of child and infant health is mortality. Here we can see thatmortality rates for both children under 5 and infants have decreased over the past 10 years.However, today’s under 5 child mortality rate of 88 and infant mortality rate of 59 are stillhigh.As we will see later, decreasing both these rates are key goals of Ethiopia’s developmentplan. 51
  52. 52. How does family planning decrease infant and child mortality rates?Family planning can lead to fewer high-risk births. These are classified as those occurringtoo early and too late in a mother’s life, too closely spaced, or too many total children.Statistically there are well-established correlations between high-risk births and maternal,infant and under 5 mortality. So fewer high-risk births means fewer maternal, infant, andchild deaths. 52
  53. 53. As mentioned, births that are too closely spaced together lead to more infantdeaths. In Ethiopia, a child born less than 24 months after his or her older siblinghas an infant mortality rate of 208. When a baby is born between 2 and 3 yearsafter the older sibling, this mortality rate decreases by nearly a half to 105. It furtherdecreases to 66 with more than 4 years between births. 53
  54. 54. Because of the decrease in high-risk births, and because there are fewer children, Ethiopiawill see fewer infant and child deaths under the low growth scenario. Compared with thehigh growth scenario, by 2050 there will be 1.2 million fewer infant deaths and 1.9 fewerchild deaths. 54
  55. 55. Now that we have seen the linkages between climate change, food security, andpopulation, what is the way forward? 55
  56. 56. Ethiopia has a new Growth and Transformation Plan – GTP – that lays out the country’sgoals for 2015. 56
  57. 57. The GTP provides strategic direction on the topics of climate change, food security, andpopulation.Climate Change: “The evidence of these impacts shows how critical it is that climatechange adaptation strategies are put in place.”Population and Development: “harmonizing the rate of population growth with thecountry’s capacity to develop and use natural resources.”Health: “Of particular importance … is the inter-sectoral collaboration in cross-cutting areassuch as water supply and sanitation, education, gender, population, and food supply.” 57
  58. 58. The Health Sector has specific maternal and child health goals:Increase CPR to 65% by 2015Decrease: maternal mortality under 5 mortality infant mortality 58
  59. 59. These data paint a picture of strong support for family planning in Ethiopia.Health Extension Workers have been vital in Ethiopia’s recent expansion of family planningservices, increasing the CPR from 14.7% to 28.6% in just six years.HEWs have greatly expanded coverage of basic health services into remote rural areas.There are 34,000 HEWs and15,000 health posts throughout the country. 59
  60. 60. What is the population policy response to improve food security in the face of climatechange? 60
  61. 61. Read slide 61
  62. 62. Read slide“Crosscutting issues like poverty, food security and others are aspects that should beconsidered when planning interventions that address climate change and adaptation.” 62
  63. 63. 63
  64. 64. Read slide 64
  65. 65. Read slide 65
  66. 66. Read slide 66
  67. 67. Read slide 67