Contributions of decadal climate information in agriculture and food systems in east and southern Africa

Abstract

Whilst there has been much focus on the utility of climate information on the seasonal timescale and several decades into the future vis-à-vis decision-making and responses to climate and related risks in Africa, less attention has been given to information on the decadal timescale. Yet much policy, planning and investment decision-making within African agricultural and food systems take place within this timescale. Decadal prediction research itself has become a hot topic, and it is against this background that we explore the questions, ‘what climate information could be utilised by farmers within this timescale and of what value will it be?’ Using case studies of both small and large-scale farming systems in east and southern Africa, we show decadal climate information potentially providing opportunities for flexible, proactive and innovative decision-making in response to projected dynamics within this period, ultimately bridging the current gap not covered by seasonal forecasts and climate change projections.

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Acknowledgements

Research for this article was part of work on the project “Emerging Climate Risks, Agriculture and Food Security”. We gratefully acknowledge funding received from the CGIAR programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) for this work.

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Correspondence to Admire Mutsa Nyamwanza.

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Nyamwanza, A.M., New, M.G., Fujisawa, M. et al. Contributions of decadal climate information in agriculture and food systems in east and southern Africa. Climatic Change 143, 115–128 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-1990-4

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