How Climate change is impacting on maize crops production in Africa

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Maize is a vulnerable crop. Research shows that geographically, the majority (90%) of currently cropped maize area is projected to experience negative impacts, with production reductions in the range 12-40%.

West African countries will in particular feel the negative impacts, with mean production losses between 20 and 40% by 2050s, while other countries, such as Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana will face less severe reductions in production. With maize being one of the greatest sources of calories, while being grown across the greatest area on the continent, adaptation measures, especially for the Sahel, are pivotal.

Climate change and agriculture are interrelated processes, both of which take place on a global scale. Climate change affects agriculture in a number of ways, including through changes in Average temperatures, rainfall, and climate extremes (e.g., heat waves); changes in Pests and diseases; changes in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and ground-level Ozone concentrations; changes in the Nutritional quality of some foods; and changes in sea level

Increased temperatures from climate change will reduce yields of the four crops humans depend on most—wheat, rice, corn and soybeans—and the losses have already begun, according to a new meta-study by an international team of researchers.
Climate change is already affecting agriculture, with effects unevenly distributed across the world. Future climate change will likely negatively affect crop production in low latitude countries, while effects in northern latitudes may be positive or negative.

Climate change will probably increase the risk of Food insecurity for some vulnerable groups, such as the poor
Animal agriculture is also responsible for greenhouse gas production of CO2 and a large percentage of the world’s methane, and future land infertility, and the displacement of local species.

In the long run, the climatic change could affect agriculture in several ways :

1-productivity, in terms of quantity and quality of crops

2-agricultural practices, through changes of water use (irrigation) and agricultural inputs such as herbicides,insecticides and fertilizers environmental effects, in particular in relation of frequency and intensity of soil drainage (leading to nitrogen leaching),soil erosion, reduction of crop diversity

3-rural space, through the loss and gain of cultivated lands, land speculation, land renunciation, and hydraulic amenities.

4-adaptation, organisms may become more or less competitive, as well as humans may develop urgency to develop more competitive organisms, such as flood resistant or salt resistant varieties of rice.

They are large uncertainties to uncover, particularly because there is lack of information on many specific local regions, and include the uncertainties on magnitude of climate change, the effects of technological changes on productivity, global food demands, and the numerous possibilities of adaptation.

Climate change may actually benefit some plants by lengthening growing seasons and increasing carbon dioxide. Yet other effects of a warmer world, such as more pests, droughts, and flooding, will be less benign. How will the world adapt? Using an aggressive climate model known as HadGEM2, researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute project that by 2050, suitable croplands for four top commodities—corn, potatoes, rice, and wheat—will shift, in some cases pushing farmers to plant new crops.

Although research is limited, research has shown that climate change may alter the developmental stages of pathogens that can affect crops. The biggest consequence of climate change on the dispersal of pathogens is that the geographical distribution of hosts and pathogens could shift, which would result in more crop losses. This could affect competition and recovery from disturbances of plants. It has been predicted that the effect of climate change will add a level of complexity to figuring out how to maintain sustainable agriculture

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