Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Climate Information for Adaptation Planning in African Agriculture

Date Published: 
November 10, 2011

Climate variability has always been a challenge for African farmers and herders. Some years there are floods, while in others – or even in the same year – drought affects farm and herd productivity. Rains may or may not arrive on schedule and in amounts sufficient to nurture crops and grasslands. African agriculture developed in this context, with a number of indigenous coping mechanisms to support survival in the face of this variability. However, global climate change increases the risks that African farmers and herders must manage. Warmer temperatures, more variable rainfall, and higher incidence of extreme events all magnify stresses on the farming systems of Africa.

One of the primary ways for countries to help farmers and herders not only cope with these climate-related stresses, but also adapt their farming systems to a “new normal” of less predictability is to develop and make available more and better information about climate and weather.

This factsheet was developed as part of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Climate-Smart Agriculture Workshop. The workshop focused on approaches for effective program design of climate-smart agriculture in support of both country and regional CAADP investment plans. Climate-smart agriculture incorporates practices that increase productivity, efficiency, resilience, adaptive capacity, and mitigation potential of production systems.