Rising temperatures put Africa’s rice production at risk
This is an ominous sign as yield reductions will directly translate into severe food shortages in a highly vulnerable region, the study said.
Rice consumption in Sahel region has been increasing dramatically, mainly because of changes in eating habits and rapid population growth.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Sahel will experience increasingly higher average temperatures as well as changes in rainfall patterns over the course of the 21st century.
These changes threaten food security and the livelihoods of the region’s predominantly rural population.
“Our model shows that without adaptation, irrigated rice yields in West Africa’s Sahel region in the dry season would decrease by about 45 percent, but with adaptation, they would decrease significantly less – by about 15 percent,” said the lead author Dr Pepijn van Oort, Crop Modeler at Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice).