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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Agriculture and Climate Change: Adapting to Progressive Changes

The importance of adaption of agriculture to changing conditions has been depicted as the most important issue for human sustainability. Not only the IPCC, but every single author in the scientific literature depicts agriculture as one of the key sectors under the context of climate change. Throughout the world, agriculture is not only part of the problem, but also part of the solution. Increasing the market supplies to feed a growing demand (i.e. from a growing population) for agricultural goods, coping with pest and disease outbreaks, maintaining land suitability and soil productivity, improving management practices, are some of the key points in which most (if not all) the agriculture-related scientists are working in.

Given these facts, since October this year I’ve been enrolled into a PhD in the School of Earth and Environment, at the University of Leeds. I’m working in the Climate Impacts Group, led by Andy Challinor, co-leader on CCAFS theme 5 (Adaptation Pathways Under Progressive Climate Change). Although I’ve been working in these topics since early 2008. Settling in at Leeds has taken some time, given the coldness of this city and the large amount of commitments derived from the work we do at CIAT-DAPA. However, there’s time for everything, and yesterday I gave a talk to my group colleagues on the nature of my PhD work.

The PhD is formally entitled “Informing the Adaptation of Agricultural Systems in Africa and Asia to Progressive Climate Change over the Coming Decades“. By “Agricultural systems“, I mean the 10 most important AND vulnerable crops in our study regions. By “Africa and Asia“, I mean actually Western Africa (Senegal, Niger, Ghana, and either Burkina Faso or Mali), Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), and the Indo Gangetic Plains. Finally, by “Coming Decades” I mean 2030.

The PhD will comprise three main research areas:

  1. Collating and assessing the necessary climate data for impact assessment
  2. Assessing (via modelling) the impacts of climate change on 10 crops
  3. Developing adaptation strategies for adaption of these 10 crops to changing conditions (either by coping negative impacts or capitalising positive impacts)

A more complete description of the project can be found in the below presentation:

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