Impacts of climate change on agriculture and household welfare in Zambia: an economy-wide analysis
Rainfed agriculture is the primary impact channel for agrarian economies like Zambia, but it is uncertain how future climate will be and by how much it will affect agriculture, household welfare, and economic growth. We use an integrated framework that combines climate models, biophysical models, and an economy-wide computable general equilibrium model based on a 2007 Social Accounting Matrix to assess the impacts of climate change on agriculture, economic growth, and household welfare in Zambia. We address the uncertainty associated with climate change by using data from the general circulation models based on 819 potential future climate scenarios. There are three main results. First, rainfall is projected to decline with the Southern and Western regions of Zambia worst affected, and temperature is projected to increase by 2050. Second, climate change is projected to reduce crop yield and production, with maize expected to be the hardest hit. These impacts are progressive over time. And lastly, based only on the agricultural impact channel, climate change will likely reduce national gross domestic product (GDP), agricultural production, and household welfare. There are significant regional differences, with the Southern and Western regions projected to bear the most substantial negative impacts of climate change on crop yield and production. These findings have implications for targeting of adaptation interventions needed to sustain the future of smallholder agriculture in Zambia.