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HOW CAN AFRICANAGRICULTURE ADAPT TOCLIMATE CHANGE?INSIGHTS FROM ETHIOPIA AND SOUTH AFRICAEdited by Claudia Ringler, Elizabeth Bryan, Rashid M. Hassan,Tekie Alemu, and Marya Hillesland

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  • 1.INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICYRESE ARCH INSTITUTEsustainable solutions for ending hunger and povertyIFPRI Supported by the CGIARJune 2011HOW CAN AFRICANAGRICULTURE ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE? INSIGHTS FROM ETHIOPIA AND SOUTH AFRICAEdited by Claudia Ringler, Elizabeth Bryan, Rashid M. Hassan, Tekie Alemu, and Marya HilleslandResearch Brief Series 15

2. IntroductionDuring the coming decades, global change will impact food and water security in significant but highly uncertain ways.There are strong indications that developing countries will bear the brunt of the consequences, particularly from climatechange. In Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculturethe mainstay of rural livelihoodsis particularly vulnerable to the adverseimpacts of climate change, and the adaptive capacity of rural smallholders is extremely low. Consequently, it is importantto understand the impacts of global change on agriculture and natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa and to identifyinformed and effective adaptation measures and investment priorities to alleviate the harmful impacts of global change.This set of briefs assesses these issues with a focus on the Nile Basin in Ethiopia and the Limpopo Basin in South Africa.Authors identify climate change impacts on agricultural productivity and food production; assess the vulnerability of thefarming sector and farm households to climate variability and change; examine climate change perceptions; and suggestadaptation strategies at the farm, basin, and national levels alongside the associated investments needed to implementsuch strategies.We are grateful to the authors for their research and analyses, to the reviewers for their constructive comments, and toMary Jane Banks and Ashley St. Thomas for their editorial assistance. We gratefully acknowledge financial support fromthe Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany. We hope that the insights on climatechange impacts and adaptation options presented here will contribute to policy changes that profoundly increase thecapacity of the rural poor in Sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to climate change.Claudia RinglerTekie AlemuSenior Research Fellow, International Food PolicyDean, School of Economics, Addis Ababa University,Research Institute, Washington, DC EthiopiaElizabeth BryanMarya HilleslandResearch Analyst, International Food Policy Research PhD candidate, American University, Washington, DCInstitute, Washington, DCRashid M. HassanDirector, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policyin Africa, University of Pretoria, South AfricaInternational Food Policy Research Institute Copyright 2011 International Food Policy Research Institute. All2033 K Street, NWrights reserved. For permission to republish, contact ifpri-copy-Washington, DC 20006-1002 [email protected]: +1-202-862-5600 These research briefs are based on previously reviewed material. AnyFax: +1-202-467-4439 opinions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessar-Email: [email protected] ily reflect the policies or opinions of IFPRI.Skype: ifprihomeofficewww.ifpri.org 3. INTERNATIONAL FOODPOLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTEsustainable solutions for ending hunger and povertySupported by the CGIAR IFPRI Research Brief151HOW CAN AFRICAN AGRICULTURE ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE? INSIGHTS FROM ETHIOPIA AND SOUTH AFRICAthe impact of climate variability and climate changeon water and Food OutcomesA Framework for AnalysisClaudia RinglerOver the coming decades, global change will have an impact on food and water security in significant and highly uncer-tain ways, and there are strong indications that developing countries security must take into account relevant hydrologic, agronomic, economic, social, and environmental processes at global, regional, national, basin, and local levels (Figure 1). This could be donewill bear the brunt of the adverse consequences, particularly from following the paradigm of strategic cyclical scaling devised byclimate change. This is largely because poverty levels are high, and Root and Schneider (see further reading), which incorporatesdeveloping-country capacity to adapt to global change is weak. large- and small-scale research studies to improve our under-Furthermore, the rural populations of developing countriesfor standing of complex environmental systems and allow more reliablewhom agricultural production is the primary source of direct and projections of the ecological, economic, and social consequences ofindirect employment and incomewill be most affected due global change. Process-based, bottom-up relationships are used toagricultures vulnerability to global change processes. The agricul- predict larger scale behavior, which is then tested against large-scaletural sector is the largest consumer of water resources, and data for a top-down evaluation. Cycling between large and smallvariability in water supply has a major influence on health andscales should thus produce more credible overall results.welfare in poor areas. With water scarcity and extreme weatherevents expected to increase under climate change, water securityFigure 1 Global change, Spatial Scales, and Adaptation Strategiescould decline significantly in rural areas. Consequently, it isimportant to understand the impacts of global change (in terms Farm levelClimate Crop and livestock selectionof climate, demography, technology, and so on) on agriculture change Cropping and grazing patternsand natural resources in developing countries and to develop Irrigation/watering technologyadaptive capacity to respond to these impacts. Moreover, there isBasin level Extreme Water allocation policya need to develop informed and effective adaptation measures weather Infrastructure investmentand investment options that can be taken now to alleviate events Land use changeadverse impacts of global change in the future. National level Agriculture and water price policiesDemographic Investment, subsidy, and tax policiesFramewOrk FOr analysischange Trade policiesRegional levelWhile food and water security are largely determined by actions Regional trade policiestaken at the local or national levels, global factorssuch as Conflict Global climate policiesworld food trade, global climate and climate change, andand crises Global trading patternsGlobal levelcompetition for wateralso affect food and water securitylocally. Moreover, human alteration of land use patterns,GLOBAL CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGIESSPATIAL SCALESurbanization, elimination of wetlands, nutrient overloading inwater systems, and other biophysical changes could dramaticallySouRce: C. Ringler, The impact of climate variability and climate change onaffect the ability of the global water cycle to support needed foodwater and food outcomes: A framework for analysis, in C. van Bers, D. Petry,production. The development of policies that mitigate adverseand C. Pahl-Wostl, eds., Global assessments: Bridging scales and linking to policy, GWSP Issues in Global Water System Research No. 2, http://www.gwsp.org/impacts, enhance positive impacts, and support adaptation to downloads/gwsp_issues_no2.pdf, 2007.climate and global change, together with enhancing local foodand water security, therefore requires an understanding of theinteractions among local, basin-level, national, and global factors.research activities Thus, analysis of strategies for increased food and waterA project supported by Germanys Federal Ministry for EconomicCooperation and Development, entitled Food and Water Security2033 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006-1002 USA T. +1-202-862-5600 / Skype: IFPRIhomeoffice F. +1-202-467-4439 [email protected] www.ifpri.org 4. under Global Change: Developing Adaptive Capacity with aThese sets of analyses were complemented with papers on theFocus on Rural Africa, has conducted research on adaptation torole of climate change mitigation for the region, the importance ofclimate change at various scales. This project, which is associatedtaking risk into account in devising adaptation options, and the rolewith the Challenge Program on Water and Food under the of collective action and property rights in community adaptation.Consultative Group on International Agricultural ResearchThe outcomes of the analyses can be used to guide appropriate(CGIAR), involved close collaboration with researchers at theresponse options to reduce rural vulnerability to global change.Center for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa, theEthiopian Development Research Institute, the Ethiopian cOnclusiOnsEconomics Association, and the University of Hamburg. The development of adaptive capacity to reduce adverse impacts of At the local level, farm household surveys were implemented global change in rural areas of developing countries requires analysesin the Nile River Basin of Ethiopia and the Limpopo River Basin at various spatial scales and an understanding of the linkages acrossof South Africa to examine vulnerability to shocks, perceptions of the various scales. At the farm level, households adjust to globallong-term changes in climate (precipitation and temperature), and change by changing farm practices or abandoning farming. Thesethe determinants of adaptation to long-term global warming.Policymakers are generally more interested in the development of local actions, in turn, influence climate and global change. At theadaptation measures following political rather than hydrologic basin level, basin authorities influence both land and water alloca-boundaries. Consequently, vulnerability and adaptation measurestion, and carry out purposeful adaptations to global change.were also developed at the province and state levels for these two Purposeful adaptation can be either tactical, in response to climate orcountries. In parallel, stakeholder forums were held in Ethiopia other global changes, or strategic, in anticipation of future globaland South Africa to discuss measures of vulnerability, adaptationchange. At the national level, governments and au