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Adapting maize production to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Cairns, J.E.
Author: Hellin, J.
Author: Sonder, K.
Author: Araus, J.L.
Author: MacRobert, J.F.
Author: Thierfelder, C.
Author: Prasanna, B.M.
Year: 2013
ISSN: 1876-4517
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/3257
Abstract: Given the accumulating evidence of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa, there is an urgent need to develop more climate resilient maize systems. Adaptation strategies to climate change in maize systems in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to include improved germplasm with tolerance to drought and heat stress and improved management practices. Adapting maize systems to future climates requires the ability to accurately predict future climate scenarios in order to determine agricultural responses to climate change and set priorities for adaptation strategies. Here we review the projected climate change scenarios for Africa?s maize growing regions using the outputs of 19 global climate models. By 2050, air temperatures are expected to increase throughout maize mega- environments within sub-Saharan Africa by an average of 2.1°C. Rainfall changes during the maize growing season varied with location. Given the time lag between the development of improved cultivars until the seed is in the hands of farmers and adoption of new management practices, there is an urgent need to prioritise research strategies on climate change resilient germplasm development to offset the predicted yield declines.
Abstract: Given the accumulating evidence of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa, there is an urgent need to develop more climate resilient maize systems. Adaptation strategies to climate change in maize systems in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to include improved germplasm with tolerance to drought and heat stress and improved management practices. Adapting maize systems to future climates requires the ability to accurately predict future climate scenarios in order to determine agricultural responses to climate change and set priorities for adaptation strategies. Here we review the projected climate change scenarios for Africa's maize growing regions using the outputs of 19 global climate models. By 2050, air temperatures are expected to increase throughout maize mega- environments within sub-Saharan Africa by an average of 2.1°C. Rainfall changes during the maize growing season varied with location. Given the time lag between the development of improved cultivars until the seed is in the hands of farmers and adoption of new management practices, there is an urgent need to prioritise research strategies on climate change resilient germplasm development to offset the predicted yield declines.
Language: English
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Pages: 345-360
Journal issue: 3
Journal: Food Security
Journal volume: 5
DOI: 10.1007/s12571-013-0256-x
Keywords: Maize
Keywords: climate change
Keywords: Heat stress
Keywords: Drought stress
Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa
Keywords: Germplasm improvement
Keywords: Conservation agriculture
Keywords: Seed delivery systems
Publisher URI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12571-013-0256-x
Audicence: Researchers
Country of Focus: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


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  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech
  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS

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