Impact of climate change on agricultural production in the Sahel – Part 2. Case study for groundnut and cowpea in Niger

Duivenbooden, N van and Abdoussalam, S and Mohamed, A B (2002) Impact of climate change on agricultural production in the Sahel – Part 2. Case study for groundnut and cowpea in Niger. Climatic Change, 54 (3). pp. 349-368. ISSN 0165-0009

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During the last 30 years, the climate of the West African Sahel has undergone various changes, especially in terms of rainfall. This has large consequences for the poor-resource farmers depending mainly on rainfed agriculture. This paper investigates the impacts of current climate variability and future climate change on groundnut and cowpea production in Niger for three major agricultural regions, including the groundnut basin.Niger was one of the largest West African groundnut producing and exporting countries. Groundnut production – as a cash crop – dropped fromabout 312,000 tons in the mid 1960s (about 68% exported) to as low as 13,000tons in 1988 and increased again to 110,000 tons in 2000. Cowpea, a food crop, showsa different tendency, going from 4,000 tons in the mid fifties to a maximum of 775,000 tons in 1997, and its cultivated area is still increasing. It is also a cash crop in local economies (especially for women).To highlight the impact of climate change on groundnut and cowpea production (significantly determined by rainfall in July, August and September), the following components of the rainfall regime were calculated for the period 1951–1998: mean annual and monthly rainfall, beginning, end and lengthof the rainy season, number of rainy days per month, amount of rainfall per rainy day and the maximum length of dry spell per month. Three sub-periods whose duration varied per region were defined: for Dosso 1951–1968,1969–1984 and 1985–1998; for Maradi 1951–1970, 1971–1987 and1988–1998; and for Zinder 1951–1966, 1967–1984 and 1985–1998. A change in rainfallregime components was observed between the three sub-periods, which were characterized in chronological order by wet, dry and intermediate conditions. To assess the impact of climate variability and change on groundnut and cowpea production, a statistical modeling approach has been followed, based on thirteen predictors as described and discussed in the preceding paper. Climate change is mimicked in terms of reduced total amount of rainfall for the three main rainfall months and an increased temperature, while maintaining other significant predictors at a constant level. In 2025,production of groundnut is estimated to be between 11 and 25% lower, while cowpeayield will fall maximally 30%. Various strategies to compensate thispotential loss are presented for the two crops

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Groundnut
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 08:03
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2014 05:39
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Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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