Togo’s Challenges in Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

In April 2013, IFPRI published a new book called West African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis. The editors of the book — Abdulai Jalloh (CORAF), Gerald C. Nelson (IFPRI), Timothy S. Thomas (IFPRI), Robert Zougmoré (CCAFS), and Harold Roy-Macauley (CORAF) — endeavor to help policymakers better understand the impact that climate change will likely have upon each West African country featured in the book. If policymakers have a better grasp of some of the technical issues, they will be more able to prepare for climate change and more likely to make good policies which will help farmers. In this brief post, I focus on the Togo chapter, which was written by Abiziou Tchinguilou, Abdulai Jalloh, Timothy S. Thomas, and Gerald C. Nelson.

Togo rainfed maize yield change, 2000-2050, MIROC A1Legend for yield changes from DSSAT crop model, 2000-2050The map shows yield change for rainfed maize between 2000 and 2050, calculated using crop models with the MIROC A1B climate model

Using the DSSAT crop model system together with four different climate models, the impact of climate change (without allowing for technological change) on Togo’s primary crop, rainfed maize, will lead to yield reductions nationally of anywhere from 3 percent to 22 percent, when grown in the climate of 2050 instead of the climate of the 1950 to 2000 period. The largest loss came in the climate model which predicted significant reduction in annual rainfall. The map to the right shows results from the MIROC climate model which had results roughly equal to the average of the four models.

The authors also present the results from a second model, IMPACT, a global model of supply and demand which allows for technological change. In that model, maize yields will rise by around 70 percent between 2010 and 2050. While the model does not specify the exact technological changes that will take place, they would likely include increased nutrient application and improved seeds.

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