Climate change impacts on rice in Africa

Irrigated rice production in East Africa is projected to increase slightly due to CO2 fertilization and less cold stress opening new opportunities for rice development in highlands double rice cropping.

Climate change is affecting vulnerable cropping systems in Africa. Extreme events, such as droughts, heat waves, and floods, lead to crop losses and food insecurity among rural and urban populations. Gradually increasing temperature and atmospheric CO2 content impact the diverse rice cropping systems throughout Africa. Although rice production in certain areas is negatively affected, cooler high-altitude areas may become more suitable. In this study, we quantified the impact of climate change on rice productivity for the main season and dry season of irrigated rice systems and for lowland and upland dryland systems. We used geospatial analysis in combination with crop modeling across a large number of representative sites in Africa to calculate changes in rice yields for different Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change scenarios. These results were compared with baseline conditions in the years around 2000.