Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Potential impacts on production and food security
  • Kindie Tesfaye, Sika Gbegbelegbe, Jill E Cairns, Bekele Shiferaw, Boddupalli M Prasanna, Kai Sonder, Ken Boote, Dan Makumbi, Richard Robertson
  • International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, August 2015, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/ijccsm-01-2014-0005

Maize systems under climate change in sub-Saharan Africa

What is it about?

With the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) population likely to double by 2050, maize production is facing a formidable challenge from biophysical and socioeconomic limitations. Climate change will further compound the crisis in maize production, undermining food security and poverty reduction efforts in the region. Our study sheds light on this hot topic, and what the future holds for maize in SSA.

Why is it important?

Our findings show that Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will experience a maize yield reduction of up to 12 percent in the 2050s and 20 percent in the 2080s if appropriate adaptation measures are not taken. Nearly 60 percent of current maize-growing areas in SSA could lose between 5 and 25 percent of their yield by 2050 while less than 35 percent of the areas will maintain their current productivity. Countries located in the Sahel zone and coastal Angola could lose most of their current maize acreage due to climate change. Climate change will also limit yield gains from fertilizer applications, and the number of people at risk of hunger in SSA would increase by up to 15 percent by 2050 compared to the economic scenario without climate change.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Kindie Tesfaye Fantaye

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