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Climate Change Adds to East Africa’s Food Plight

December 22, 2013

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By Kieran Cooke

The report, East African Agriculture and Climate Change, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), looks at threats to food supplies in 11 countries in East and Central Africa – Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Agriculture accounts for more than 40% of gross domestic product across the region. The report says soil deficiencies in many parts mean agricultural productivity is falling.

Ecosystems are depleted, infrastructure is poor and there’s a lack of reliable information and policy coordination. Meanwhile weather systems are becoming more erratic and violent.

“Climate change will have far-reaching consequences for the poor and marginalized groups, among which the majority depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and have a lower capacity to adapt…this situation is likely to become more desperate and to threaten the very survival of the most vulnerable farmers as global warming continues”, says the study.

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An Additional article on the subject of Africa and Climate Change.

Africa’s action plan for climate change

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By Richard Munang and Jessica Andrews

In a first ever report, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme, the challenges of adapting to the changing climate in Africa are pinpointed. The report titled “Africa Adaptation Gap Report” confirmed that Africa is already committed to spending $7-15bn to adapt to climate change each year as a result of historical emissions.


The report opens by determining that “Africa is a “vulnerability hot spot” for the impacts of climate change”. It’s no surprise that this is the report’s highlighted conclusion. Africa will experience a 10-percent higher rise in sea levels than the global average; if the world exceeds 3 Celsius globally, “virtually all of the present maize, millet, and sorghum cropping areas across Africa could become unviable.” And if the world reaches 4 Celsius, 20- and 30-percent reductions in precipitation will occur in northern and southern Africa, respectively. This is what spells disaster in a continent where 240 million are already malnourished and 96 percent of agriculture is rain-fed.

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