Climate change and indicators of probable shifts in the consumption portfolios of dryland farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for policy uri icon

abstract

  • Several studies estimate the immediate impact of climate change on agricultural societies in terms of changes in crop yields or farm income, though few studies concentrate on the immediate secondary consequences of climate change. This synthetic analysis uses a set of indicators to assess the repercussions of predicted income reductions resulting from climate change on food consumption, nutrition, health expenditure, education, and recreation in Zimbabwe, Cameroon, South Africa and Ethiopia. We also assess the potential decline in human development potential among smallholder dryland farmers in these sub-Saharan African countries. In contrast to previous efforts, the current study directly integrates the uncertainties in estimations of income changes and secondary consequences through a weighting scheme. The results reveal moderate to high levels of secondary impacts which could lead to increased vulnerability to diseases, susceptibility to nutritional disorders, deprivation of educational opportunities, and ultimately to a reduction in human and societal development potential among the considered nations. The article concludes by proposing a portfolio of policy options for ameliorating the secondary impacts of climate change in these sub-Saharan African countries. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016