Leveraging climate-smart agriculture to address climate risk in Africa

By John Asafu-Adjaye and Yohannis Tessema

Africa has been identified as the region most at risk of climate change due to its high dependence on natural resources and rainfed agriculture. Current climate-related stressors such as drought, floods, rainfall variability, coupled with low adaptive capacity, make African countries highly vulnerable to future climate change.

In addition to climate change, other global forces (or megatrends) currently underway will exacerbate the challenges African countries face in transforming their economies. These megatrends include demographics, urbanisation and technology and innovation. Demographic trends will double Africa’s current population to 2.4 billion by 2050, putting pressure on the supply of natural resources such as food, water, energy and ecosystems. While these megatrends will present formidable challenges to African transformation, they also offer opportunities that could be leveraged to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. For example, concepts such as climate-smart agriculture could be used to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change and at the same time mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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