345-19 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Options for Cereal Production in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from Ethiopia.

Poster Number 202

See more from this Division: Special Sessions
See more from this Session: AgMIP Poster Session
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall ABC
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Belay T. Kassie1, Senthold Asseng1, Reimund Rotter2, Martin K. van Ittersum3, Huib Hengsdijk4 and Alex C Ruane5, (1)Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
(2)MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Mikkele, Finland
(3)Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
(4)Plant International, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
(5)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY
Poster Presentation
  • Poster 345-19_Belay T. Kassie.pdf (1.4 MB)
  • There is  consensus that Africa, especially the semi-arid region in Sub-Saharan countries, is the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change. Small holders have been already facing severe climate related hazards that negatively affect their livelihoods. Anticipated climate change is expected to aggravate some of the existing challenges and impose new risks beyond the range of current experiences. This study aimed at understanding current climate variability and future climate change impacts and providing insights on current climate risk management strategies and future adaptation options. The study was conducted in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia, which represents major cereal-based farming systems of the semi-arid environments of Sub-Saharan Africa. Objectives of the study were addressed with  a stat-of-art of crop and climate modelling approach in combination with empirical field survey methods and agro-climatic index analysis. First, climate induced yield variability and yield gaps were assessed with stakeholder analysis and crop model simulations (in combination with field experiments). Then, a more detail analysis on climate change scenarios and adaptation options was done using three General Circulation Models in combination with two recently released Representative Concentration Pathways and two crop models.

    The study provided quantified evidence that the past and current climate trends, especially in terms of rainfall variability and increased temperature pose major risks to rain-fed agriculture in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. With a “business-as–usual” scenario, the changing rainfall pattern and warming trends could make rain-fed agriculture more risky such as reducing the potential productivity of maize, one of the major staple crops in the study area, by about 20%. However, the study also showed that with appropriate adaptation strategies, there is a scope to reduce such negative impacts. This study also demonstrated that multi-model based analysis allows an estimation of some of the climate change impact and adaptation uncertainties, which can provide valuable guidance for adaptation planning.

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