IFPRI Publishes New Research Briefs on Adaptation of African Agriculture to Climate Change
February 2009: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released four new issues of its Research Brief Series on adaptation of African agriculture to climate change. The Briefs are based on research under the project “Food and Water Security under Global Change: Developing Adaptive Capacity with a Focus on Rural Africa,” which is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural research (CGIAR) Challenge Program on Water and Food.
Brief 15-8, titled “Understanding Farmers' Perceptions and Adaptations to Climate Change and Variability: The Case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa,” examines farmers' perceptions of climate change and analyzes their adaptation responses. The brief recommends policy measures to facilitate adaptation, including access to affordable credit, investments in “smart” irrigation, and strengthening farm-level managerial capacity.
Brief 15-10, titled “Climate Variability and Maize Yield in South Africa,” explores direct impacts of climate variability on maize yields. The authors conclude that irrigation is a key factor in mitigating the impacts of decreased precipitation.
Brief 15-11, titled “The Impact of Climate Change and Adaptation on Food Production in Low-Income Countries,” addresses the factors influencing adaptation and the implications of various adaptation strategies for farm productivity. The authors report that farmers' decisions to adopt yield-enhancing adaptation strategies are influenced by, among other factors, available information on future climate change, seasonal rainfall, the agro-ecological setting, and several specific characteristics of households. They suggest improving farmers' access to timely information about climate change, and access to credit markets and farmer-to-farmer extension to encourage adoption of yield-related adaptation strategies.
Brief 15-13, titled “Global Carbon Markets: Are there Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa?” examines Sub-Saharan Africa's current involvement in carbon markets, potential for greenhouse gas emission reductions, constraints to further participation, and opportunities for expanding Sub-Saharan Africa's market share. The authors argue that Clean Development Mechanism rules for determining baselines, monitoring carbon emissions and enforcing offsets should be simplified, and the range of eligible projects broadened to include avoided deforestation and soil carbon sequestration to facilitate the participation of Sub-Saharan African countries.