News & events


Integrated assessment of climate change impacts on staple food production in Southern Africa

15 July 2014
12:30 - 13:30

Speakers: Dr Charles Nhemachena, Economic Performance and Development (EPD), HSRC 
Dr Yacob Beletse, Crop Science, Agricultural Research Council-Roodeplaat
Dr Olivier Crespo, Climate System Analysis Group, University of Cape Town

Date: 15 July 2014

Time: 12H15 for 12h30  – 13H30  

Please note that this seminar will continue during load shedding periods – supported by a generator.

For the past two years, a diverse team of climate, crop, economic and IT researchers in Southern Africa have been working with a global network of scientists under the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) to evaluate the impacts of climate change and benefits of adaptation on food crop production in the region.

The regional institutions involved include: Agricultural Research Council (lead institution), Human Sciences Research Council, University of Cape Town, University of Free State, South African Sugar Research Institute, Polytechnic of Namibia, National University of Lesotho, Botswana College of Agriculture and Swaziland Meteorological Services. The collaborative Southern Africa Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (SAAMIIP) conducted a series integrated climate change impacts assessments on agricultural systems in the region.

Specifically, the project evaluated the impacts of climate change on production of staple/nutritionally-important crops (Maize, Sorghum, Sugarcane, Wheat and Potatoes (sweet potatoes)) in the region (focusing on: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia) using climate, crop and economic simulation models.

The integrated analysis of outputs from linked climate, crop and economic modelling enabled the assessment of a range of possible future adaptation and socio-economic pathways. It also built critical capacity among the team members in methodologies for conducting integrated assessments that were shared locally through targeted workshops, meetings, training, and stakeholder outreach. The integrated assessment results show that future climate change will have serious implications on food production if appropriate adaptations measures, favourable policy and mitigation are not be implemented.

The team plans to expand such investigations in different main food producing districts to investigate the inclusion of other adaptations strategies such as early and late maturing crops, diversification of farming systems including alternative crops, ecosystem based adaptation, sustainable land management such as rainwater harvesting, organic and in organic fertilizations.

Kindly RSVP by 14 July 2014.

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or
Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or
Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: