It is expected that Sub-Saharan Africa will experience significance changes in temperature and precipitation. The region has large areas that are already vulnerable to the short-term climatic variability and extreme weather conditions that are experienced with increasing frequency. Sénégal is a good example of a country that is already facing these challenges.

Climatic variability is a challenge for small-holders that are more or less at the mercy of the weather. FoodAfrica’s third work package will identify and estimate small-holder vulnerability, and design efficient and sustainable adaptation strategies that can offset the impacts on farm-level productivity, income, food security, and poverty.

Focus on socio-economic impacts of climate change

The focus of the Work Package 3 is on the socio-economic impacts of climate change and the economic costs of adjustment and adaptation. The end product is a concrete set of adaptation guidelines that can be implemented at the national budgeting and strategy level. Additionally, guidelines can be applied by national agricultural extension officers to be used when interacting with farmers.

‒ WP3 looks beyond the usual analysis of agronomic impacts on crop yield, and also considers the impacts on roads and infrastructure, which are likely to increase considerably due to climate change, says the leader of the work package, Siwa Msangi from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The research combines an economic and agronomic simulation modelling approach with community-level interviews and focus-group discussions to better match predicted impacts and responses to actual on-the-ground constraints to adaptation.

Reaching beyond the Millennium Development Goals

The Work Package 3 will build upon the climate analyses that have been done in other parts of Africa, and consider the wider implications for economic growth in Sénégal.

By looking beyond the 2015 horizon taken in the recent World Bank-led Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) and focusing on one country, this Work Package will be able to take a longer-term view over which investments, adjustments and adaptations must be made across various sectors of the Sénégalese economy to enhance its resilience to climate change.

‒ The research builds on work that has downscaled the results of global climate models for West Africa, and calculated the agronomic impacts for key crops, says Msangi.

These practices and tools will facilitate good decision-making and effective targeting of interventions and investments that can make a real and lasting improvement in livelihood and welfare.

Objectives for WP3

Work Package 3 is targeting the following goals:

  • Identifying the most urgent investments and adaptations that are needed to enhance the resilience of Senegalese agriculture to climate change
  • Enhancing the capacity of local decision makers to assess climate risk and design appropriate strategies to mitigate the negative impacts and make necessary investments to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity
  • To provide necessary tools for the local decision makers and analysts to make assessments of vulnerability and evaluate the inevitable trade-offs that will be faced when making investments and resource allocations with limited national budget
  • Strengthening the technical and policy dialogue between ministries of agriculture, finance, energy and other players who are actively engaged in discussions around the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAAPD) so that the importance of building resilience against climate change is recognized and actively incorporated into the National Adaptation Plan for Agriculture (NAPA)
  • The agreements for agricultural investment and planning that are negotiated in the roundtables are leading up to the signing of the CAADP compact