New Book on Climate Change and Agriculture in Southern Africa

Today, FANRPAN, CCAFS, and IFPRI launched a newly published book, Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis, at FANRPAN’s 2013 Annual High-level Food Security Multi-Stakeholder Policy Dialogue held in Maseru, Lesotho. Among those in attendance were deans of almost a dozen agricultural colleges in Southern Africa, a former prime minister (of the Kingdom of Swaziland), donors, NGOs, farmers, students, and researchers. The group was well-represented by women in all these categories.

The book is edited by Sepo Hachigonta, Gerald C. Nelson, Timothy S. Thomas, and Lindiwe Sibanda. The purpose of the book is to help policymakers, researchers, NGOs, donors, and extension agents better understand the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture over the next 40 years, and to give them advice on the types of policies that could be implemented that would best help farmers adapt to the changes.

The book includes 8 country chapters featuring Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It also includes a regional overview chapter, as well as a chapter explaining the methodology used in the book, which features two types of models. The first type uses crop models to evaluate yields under climate models developed by the IPCC. The purpose was to compare future yields to those of the climate of the last 50 years of the 20th century. In this analysis, the researchers held technology (seed varieties and fertilizer levels) constant to examine the impact of climate change without adaptation.

Photo of workshop organizers
From left: Sepo Hachigonta (FANRPAN; lead book editor and co-author to many chapters); Absalom M. Manyatsi (University of Swaziland; lead author, Swaziland chapter); Gerald C. Nelson (formerly senior research fellow at IFPRI; book editor and co-author to many chapters); Tim Thomas (IFPRI; book editor and co-author to many chapters); and Ioannis Vasileiou (CCAFS Science Officer). Lindiwe Sibanda, one of the co-editors, is not pictured.

The second type of model is a global partial equilibrium model of food and agriculture. This model allowed for technological change, but controlled for climate change impacts, while also using population and GDP projections for the future.

For those interested in the book or some shorter articles which summarize the results, you can go to these links:

Press release

Media briefing page


Regional Issue brief (4 page summary)

Country Summaries (2 pages each)

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