Increasing temperature, erratic rainfall, and other extreme events, such as floods and droughts, pose severe threats to development in Nigeria. Climate change will have significant adverse impacts on crop production and livelihoods, making the country’s poor and disadvantaged people even more vulnerable. It is imperative that the impact of relevant climate science on agricultural production be considered, together with important cross-cutting issues that influence agricultural growth, poverty alleviation, and climate resilience—especially gender and nutrition—if the goals of Feed the Future and the Global Food Security Strategy are to be achieved. This policy note summarizes assessments of these interlinkages in the Nigerian context under GCAN.
By Jessica Fanzo, Rebecca McLaren, Claire Davis, and Jowel Choufani
The paper uses a food systems approach to analyze the bidirectional relationships between climate change and food and nutrition along the entire food value chain. It then identifies adaptation and mitigation interventions for each step of the food value chain to move toward a more climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive food system. The study focuses on poor rural farmers, a population especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change on nutrition, although we recognize that there are other vulnerable populations, including urban poor and rural populations working outside of agriculture. Although this report does not explicitly exclude overweight and obesity, it focuses primarily on undernutrition because this nutritional status is currently more prevalent than overnutrition among our target population.
By Lilian Nkengla-Asi, Suresh Chandra Babu, Holger Kirscht, Scarlett Apfelbacher, Rachid Hanna, Amare Tegbaru
Climate change has major impacts on the food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Africa south of the Sahara. Vulnerable to the vagaries of weather and to being chronically poor, women farmers are unequally and more negatively affected by climate change and seasonal changes than male farmers. This study aims to understand how men and women in Cameroon’s Southwest region differ in their vulnerability to and their coping strategies for climate change impacts. Data collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews from four rural communities in the Southwest region showed that most respondents (both male and female) had observed a change in the climate in the previous 10 years. According to respondents, climate variables such as the timing and length of the rainy season had changed, affecting crop production of both men and women. Women were shown to be more vulnerable than men, as the changes led to a reduction in yields, which affected family well-being. Men and women in the researched communities strive to cope with climate change and related seasonal variations in different ways. Whereas most men tend to move away from the area in a search for paid jobs in the cities, women remain in their own communities and work to diversify their livelihood activities. Other coping strategies for men and women in the research communities include income diversification, planting of early-maturing crops, and use of pest-resistant seeds. Men and women have different experiences and different adaptation strategies to climate change and seasonal variations in weather patterns. Understanding such gender differences could facilitate the development of gender-sensitive policies and programs and could help improve sustainable and more inclusive adaptation strategies.
By Timothy S. Thomas
Most scientists studying the impact of climate change on agriculture use climate models that project out to 2050 or beyond – some even going to 2100. Even those focusing more short-term rarely study anything earlier than 2030 – the models just have too little change in that time period for them to produce anything of interest. These climate studies can be of significant help to USAID missions when working with host governments in developing longer-range investment plans in the agricultural and environmental sectors, and can also be of help in assessing climate risk in activities that are meant to have impact for multiple decades.
Yet many climate risk assessments for USAID activities need to assess climate impacts for just a few years into the future, for example, just until the early 2020s. For those assessments, typical climate models and studies are not helpful. In such cases, missions would be better served by looking at climate trends from gridded weather data available from a number of sources.
By Nirmal Kumar Patra, Suresh Chandra Babu
The recently signed Paris Agreement is one of the most promising steps toward addressing the challenges of climate change and global warming. The agreement came into force in November 2016, and India is a party to it. Two key obligations of each ratifying country under the agreement are the immediate start of mitigation initiatives by the country and the development of a five-year plan of mitigation initiatives. The creation of a database of all subsectors responsible for emissions is needed to start the mitigation activities and to prepare a five-year mitigation plan. The key actors responsible for emissions are industry, transport, and agriculture. The Indian economy is predominantly agricultural, and the agricultural sector is a major driver of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, there is no comprehensive database to support the policy and intervention process relating to climate change. This paper is an attempt to provide a guide for database creation and the development of a district-level database on emissions from agriculture in India. In this study, all the Indian districts are categorized based on their level of GHG emissions from agriculture and its subsectors, which are denoted by the Emission Index (EI) and Emission Values (EVs), respectively. Districts having “extremely alarming” EIs and EVs should be considered a priority in mitigation initiatives and in the five-year mitigation plan. The study shows that the livestock subsector plays a major role in Indian agricultural emissions scenarios, and increasing the productivity of the agricultural sector remains the best mitigation option for reducing the emission of GHGs from agriculture. The paper also proposes a food system transformation pathway from climate vulnerable to climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and a mitigation strategy with technical, institutional, and policy interventions.