Climate Change and Variability in the Mixed Crop/Livestock Production Systems of Central Ethiopian Highland
Using a 60-year weather data, this chapter establishes the realities of climate change impacts in the Central Ethiopian Highland. It also explores the adaptive responses of teff and wheat, the two major food crops in the said locality. With a population of 100 million (as of 2018), Ethiopia faces increased levels of food insecurity. The study measured farmers’ perception of climate change and more importantly, their adaptation measures, and proposes four mitigation options for Ethiopia to cope with climate change related shocks exacerbated by population pressure.
GOALS & METHODS
The objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of climate change and explore adaptive responses of teff and wheat – the two major food crops grown in the study site. The study reviewed climate data for six decades. Furthermore, the Global Climate Model (GCM) climate projection was used to predict climate change impact on teff and wheat. DIVA-GIS version 1.5 was utilized for the crop suitability analysis.
CONCLUSIONS & TAKEAWAYS
Teff is the staple food for Ethiopians and wheat is one of the top five crops grown in the said country. Residues from these crops are the main sources for livestock feed. Climate data from 1951-2009 has shown a trend in increased rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, and sunshine hours. Results show that teff will expand in terms of area due to its adaptation to wider agro-ecological zone. Furthermore, it terms of perceptions to climate change, the farmers value highly accessed resources that sustain life in the rural community and livestock. These include water, wood, and grasses. However, these resources are being depleted due to the lack of management and ownership. The unabated expansion of human and livestock also puts pressure on the resources present leading to dwindling forests, grazing lands, and freshwater. One adaptation measure of farmers is the shift to other crops such as chickpea and vetch since these can withstand moisture stress caused by climate change. Lastly, the study proposes four (4) options for mitigation of climate change impacts. One, improved water and agricultural management practices; Two, family planning and limiting child birth; Three, changing or mixing the current staple food items into a high calorie per hectare crops; and Four, livelihood diversification to generate off-farm income.
Climate Change and Variability in the Mixed Crop/Livestock Production Systems of Central Ethiopian Highland. In: Handbook of Climate Change Resilience. Handbook of Climate Change Resilience. Springer International Publishing; 2018:1–24. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-71025-9_120-1..
- University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
- International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia