Implications of Climatic Variability for Food Security in The Southern African Development Community

Implications of Climatic Variability for Food Security in The Southern African Development Community

Although it cannot be claimed irrefutably that global changes in climate have already occurred, much of the recent research suggests that the rise in the proportion of "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere may already have set in train some irreversible changes. Certainly, there seems to be some evidence of increasing climate variability. The consequences of this for countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are particularly serious. With fragile soils and with increasing population pressure pushing agriculture further into areas of less favorable rainfall and soils, small variations in rainfall can have proportionately much larger consequences for food security. The potential impact of climate change on food security has been examined by Downing for a number of countries, including Kenya and Zimbabwe. The results point to a possible reduction of yields and deteriorating food security as global warming occurs. It is in reaction to warnings such as this that SADC is now taking account of climate change in its long-term planning. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications of a potentially more variable climate for SADC's food security strategies. [author]

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