EPAR Technical Report #62
Sat, 10/23/2010
Cecily Stokes-Prindle
Brian Smoliak
Alison Cullen
C. Leigh Anderson

Researchers expect that agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will experience major impacts from climate change, leaving the already food-insecure region subject to the largest contractions of agricultural incomes and food availability. As part of the Crops & Climate Change series, this brief presents an evaluation of the importance of maize in SSA, a novel analysis of historical and projected climate conditions in maize-growing regions, and a summary of current resources dedicated to maize adaptation. Overall, this analysis indicates that the importance of maize as a food crop remains high throughout SSA. Significant portions of maize-growing SSA will face climate conditions outside the range of country- and continent-level historical precedent. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation are predicted, and reductions in maize yield and production will likely follow. Resources intended to aid adaptation to climate change flow primarily from public sector research and development efforts. Country-level adaptation strategies are often hampered by lack of funding and insufficient institutional capacity. Strategies for adaptation include improved agricultural practices and technology as well as infrastructure and program investments to absorb the impacts of climate change.

Type of Research: 
Literature Review
Research Topic Category: 
Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Livelihoods
Agricultural Productivity, Yield, & Constraints
Environment & Climate Change
Geographic focus: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
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