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2015-10-13 | project

Climate Change and Agricultural Productivity in Ethiopia: Vulnerability, Impact, Adaptation Options and Beyond

By broadening/extending the knowledge base of climate change and agricultural productivity in Ethiopia and enhancing informed policy/decision making at various levels, this research will contribute to poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.

Climate change is expected to have serious economic, social and environmental impacts in Africa in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. There exist only few attempts that have looked at the issue of climate change in the context of Ethiopia. But, more importantly, firstly, whereas the mixed crop-livestock farming is dominant farming style, most of the studies on climate change, at least in the context of Ethiopia, have looked at vulnerability to, impact of, and adaptation options to climate change with emphasis only on crop agriculture and disregarding the role of livestock. Intuitively, climate change would be expected also to affect livestock production of farmers thereby deteriorating farm incomes. Hence, disregarding livestock production would underestimate the impact of climate change. Besides, there appears to be significant inter-linkages (and tradeoffs) between the crop and livestock subsystems within the farm household system, particularly at times of stress, which is another dimension of interest in climate change study. Therefore, it would be of interest broadly looking at climate change and agricultural productivity in a way it includes livestock production. Secondly, except for examining the factors underlying farmers’ choices of adaptation options, the studies do not compare and contrast the diversity of adaptation options practiced by farmers. Nonetheless, it might be the case that few of the set of adaptation options available/practiced by farmers are most important ones, both in terms of sustainability and returns, for policy targeting. Thirdly, most of the studies were concerned with the microeconomics of climate change. Nevertheless, climate change might be expected to have area specific effects often of interest on the scale at above household/micro level. For example, agro-ecology based analyses might provide better/additional insights into the climate change issue. Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, none of the Ethiopian studies have tried to link the climate change issue into the broader context of economic growth and poverty.