Economy-wide and hydrological-crop models are combined to assess the economic impacts of historical climate variability and future anthropogenic climate change in Zambia. Accounting for uncertainty, results indicate that, on average, current variability reduces gross domestic product by 4% over a 10-year period and pulls 2% of the population below the poverty line. Socioeconomic impacts are much larger during major drought years, thus underscoring the importance of extreme weather events in determining climate damages.
The rise in global food prices and the ever-growing food import bill have prompted sharp attention on agricultural policies in Africa. African policy makers are grappling with what unstable food prices mean for their countries; how these price movements will affect their food security situation; how the private sector is likely to respond; and what governments themselves can do. In addition, they fear that global warming may significantly change the location of food production within Africa.
In the cool, fertile highlands of the Rift Valley Province in western Kenya, the landscape is dominated by tea. Kenya is the world’s largest producer and the leading exporter of the caffeinated leaves, and the land around the township of Kericho and bordering the Mau Forest Complex is one of the country’s primary tea producing areas. But recent projections by tea industry group Ethical Tea Partnership show that, without substantial action, climate change will render most of the Kericho-Mau area unsuitable for tea production by 2050.
This USAID project focuses their efforts to combine sustainable livelihood generation, natural resource conservation and empowerment of women through the provision of clean cookstoves.
One of the big debates at the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which came to a close last week, revolved around the role of agriculture and whether to establish a separate agricultural work programme. The decision to set up a work programme has now been deferred – again. This is an opportunity to rethink the broader issues around climate change and agriculture.