Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: Potential impacts on production and food security

Kindie Tesfaye (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.)
Sika Gbegbelegbe (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya.)
Jill E Cairns (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Harare, Zimbabwe.)
Bekele Shiferaw (Partnership for Economic Policy (formerly CIMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya.)
Boddupalli M Prasanna (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya.)
Kai Sonder (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Mexico D.F., Mexico.)
Ken Boote (University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.)
Dan Makumbi (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya.)
Richard Robertson (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington DC, USA.)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Publication date: 17 August 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change on maize production and food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using adapted improved maize varieties and well-calibrated and validated bioeconomic models.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the past climate (1950-2000) as a baseline, the study estimated the biophysical impacts of climate change in 2050 (2040-2069) and 2080 (2070-2099) under the A1B emission scenario and three nitrogen levels, and the socioeconomic impacts in 2050.

Findings

Climate change will affect maize yields across SSA in 2050 and 2080, and the extent of the impact at a given period will vary considerably between input levels, regions and maize mega environments (MMEs). Greater relative yield reductions may occur under medium and high-input intensification than under low intensification, in Western and Southern Africa than in Eastern and Central Africa and in lowland and dry mid-altitude than in highland and wet mid-altitude MMEs. Climate change may worsen food insecurity in SSA in 2050 through its negative impact on maize consumption and reduction in daily calorie intake. However, international trade has the potential to offset some of the negative impacts.

Originality/value

The study calibrated and applied bioeconomic models to estimate the biophysical and socioeconomic impact of climate change on maize production at fine resolution. The results could be used as a baseline to evaluate measures that will be applied to adapt maize to the future climate in SSA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the CGIAR Research Programs on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) Project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We thank all the scientists involved in conducting regional trials. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on all maps do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the authors.

Citation

Tesfaye, K., Gbegbelegbe, S., Cairns, J.E., Shiferaw, B., Prasanna, B.M., Sonder, K., Boote, K., Makumbi, D. and Robertson, R. (2015), "Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa: Potential impacts on production and food security", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 247-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-01-2014-0005

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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