As 2014 draws to a close, we take note of a number of important advances that have taken place in the work of the IFPRI-ISRA-MTT team working on climate change in Senegal.

During 2014, we added two PhD students to the team, who are looking at key aspects of climate change impacts in Senegal. El Hadj Yakhya Thior is looking at livestock performance and the role of better feeds in improving resilience of livestock systems, as part of his research. He joined Amy Faye and Assane Beye (two PhD students focusing on the agricultural economic impacts) in a training that took place earlier in the year on the use of the economic Trade-off Analysis (TOA) model and the biophysical model of livestock productivity — RUMINANT, that was held at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa in mid-June 2014. They are shown below holding their graduation certificates for the training course.

wp3Yakhya is currently testing samples of feed quality and is doing supplemental field work to better calibrate the RUMINANT model to relevant regions of Senegal, while Assane is working on obtaining a longer series of regional climate data to analyze historical variability.

A newly-updated social-accounting matrix for Senegal has recently been prepared, which will allow us to examine the economy-wide impacts of climate change on both agricultural and non-agricultural households, and provide further insight into the poverty and well-being impacts that can be expected under future climate variability.

Amy Faye continues to write her thesis on climate change impacts in the Niayes region of Senegal, and is exploring hydrological data for the region that can help to illuminate the dynamics of groundwater that are important for the farmers who irrigate horticultural crops in the region. The increasing variability of streamflow, groundwater recharge and salinity levels in the groundwater basin are among the shocks that farmers in this region can expect, with future climate variability. Amy is working to apply some modeling tools she received training on, earlier in 2014 during a GAMS-based course in agricultural and natural resource policy modeling to the problem of adaptive groundwater management in Niayes. A version of this training will be offered to researchers at ISRA, interested students and other stakeholders later in 2015.

The WP3 team is now collaborating with analysts at the Africa Risk Capacity group, based in Rome, to apply their analytical tools of vulnerability and weather risk analysis to the case of Senegal – so that further insight into household-level vulnerability to climate change can be gained, and better mechanisms for targeting interventions can be designed for policy makers to consider.

Written by Siwa Msangi, IFPRI