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Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change

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With agriculture being the main source of both employment and income for southern Africa’s rural population, there is great concern regarding the potential impact of climate change. This study, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), represents a comprehensive analysis of ways to foster agricultural development and food security to reduce such impacts. Several weather-based scenarios have been developed by the authors, describing how climate change may affect the region up to 2050. National contributors from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe review the scenarios and propose a variety of adaptation policies. The opening chapter provides a regional overview, reviewing current trends, environmental status, economic, demographic, and well-being indicators, regional future scenarios with a particular focus on those showing changes in crops and finally an overview of results and recommendations for each country. Following this is a chapter on methodology, presenting technical information to better understand the results for each country. Finally, each of the eight countries are subject to an in-depth analysis, with significant amounts of supporting data provided. These country chapters discuss topics such as the policy context of agriculture production, various economic and social indicators, current climate trends, land use and agriculture overviews, scenarios for the future using various climate and crop models, and the likely impacts such scenarios imply for agriculture and vulnerability.

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Regions and countries