Coping with climate change impacts in Sub Saharan Africa: how can farmers in Niger and Burkina Faso adapt?
In Sub Saharan Africa, the agricultural sector is of huge importance, contributing up to 50% of the countries’ GDP and often employing up to 90% of the population. However, agricultural production and food security are increasingly at risk, as the impacts of climate change are rapidly becoming more visible in the region. Temperatures are rising, while the amount of rainfall is decreasing. And extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and storms are also becoming more frequent.
Analysing these climate risks in detail is one of the main goals of the currently ongoing AGRICA Project, in which we have been involved since last year through a subcontract with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Another important aim of this project is to assess the costs and benefits of selected adaptation strategies for the agricultural sector of Sub Saharan African countries. While a report focusing on Ghana has been published by PIK researchers last year, and a report focusing on Ethiopia is soon to be published, our team has been working together with PIK on preparing two additional national studies on climate risk and adaptation measures – this time focusing on the agricultural sectors of Burkina Faso and Niger.
Based on climate modelling results and yield forecasts provided by PIK researchers, our team at HFFA Research is performing a cost-benefit analysis of specific adaptation measures for crop production and livestock farming in the two countries. The adaptation measures have been previously selected by local stakeholders and are therefore specifically tailored to their needs. The results will be an important indicator of the suitability of these measures for the respective local context and will support policy makers and local planners in designing sustainable local adaptation policies.
We are looking forward to continuing our successful cooperation with the PIK working group Adaptation in Agricultural Systems. A detailed description of the AGRICA Project can be found on the PIK Website.