Potential impact of climate and socioeconomic changes on future agricultural land use in West Africa

Potential impact of climate and socioeconomic changes on future agricultural land use in West Africa

This study compares the contributions of climate change and socioeconomic development to potential future changes of agricultural land use in West Africa.

It uses a prototype land use projection (LandPro) algorithm which is based on a balance between food supply and demand, and accounts for the impact of socioeconomic drivers on the demand side and the impact of climate-induced crop yield changes on the supply side. It considers the impact of human decision-making on land use.

The paper argues that without agricultural intensification, the climate-induced decrease in crop yield together with increase in food demand are found to cause a significant increase in agricultural land use at the expense of forest and grassland by the mid-century. The increase in agricultural land use is primarily climate-driven in the western part of West Africa and socioeconomically driven in the eastern part. Analysis of results suggests that human adaptation characterized by science-informed decision making to minimize land use could be very effective in many parts of the region.

[Adapted from source]

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