Challenges to Coping Strategies with Agrometeorological Risks and Uncertainties in Africa

  • Elijah Mukhala
  • Adams Chavula

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of agricultural production is rainfed and only 10% of the arable land is irrigated. At the same time, the continent is susceptible to inter-annual rainfall variability. These statistics strengthen the argument that weather and climate are one of the biggest production risk and uncertainty factors impacting on agriculture systems’ performance. The Southern African region faces well-documented challenges in maintaining and improving food security in the face of multiple stresses. Climate stress in particular has compromised the ability of the region’s agricultural sector to sustain production. Such a situation is particularly concerning in the light of the projected climate stress under future climate change due to, for example, the increasing frequency of extreme precipitation events (IPCC 2001). The paper discusses the use of integrated sustainable agriculture in Africa that takes into account preparedness, monitoring, assessments, mitigation and adaptation that address issues of extreme climatic events including severe droughts, floods and cyclonic systems. The paper also discusses efforts in the use of improved climate knowledge and technology, including monitoring and response mechanisms to current weather to reduce the uncertainties in agrometeorological risks.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elijah Mukhala
    • 1
  • Adams Chavula
    • 2
  1. 1.SADC SecretariatFood Agriculture and Natural Resources DirecotorateGaboroneBotswana
  2. 2.Agricultural MeteorologistMalawi Meteorological ServicesBlantyreMalawi

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