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Climate change impact and potential adaptation strategies under alternate climate scenarios for yam production in the sub-humid savannah zone of West Africa


  • Amit Kumar Srivastava

    () (University of Bonn)

  • Thomas Gaiser

    (University of Bonn)

  • Frank Ewert

    (University of Bonn)


Abstract Globally, yam (Dioscorea spp.) is the fifth most important root crop after sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas L.) and the second most important crop in Africa in terms of production after cassava (Manihot esculenta L.) and has long been vital to food security in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Climate change is expected to have its most severe impact on crops in food insecure regions, yet very little is known about impact of climate change on yam productivity. Therefore, we try estimating the effect of climate change on the yam (variety: Florido) yield and evaluating different adaptation strategies to mitigate its effect. Three regional climate models REgional MOdel (REMO), Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute Regional Climate Model (SMHIRCA), and Hadley Regional Model (HADRM3P) were coupled to a crop growth simulation model namely Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) version 3060 to simulate current and future yam yields in the Upper Ouémé basin (Benin Republic). For the future, substantial yield decreases were estimated varying according to the climate scenario. We explored the advantages of specific adaptation strategies suggesting that changing sowing date may be ineffective in counteracting adverse climatic effects. Late maturing cultivars could be effective in offsetting the adverse impacts. Whereas, by coupling irrigation and fertilizer application with late maturing cultivars, highest increase in the yam productivity could be realized which accounted up to 49 % depending upon the projection of the scenarios analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Amit Kumar Srivastava & Thomas Gaiser & Frank Ewert, 2016. "Climate change impact and potential adaptation strategies under alternate climate scenarios for yam production in the sub-humid savannah zone of West Africa," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(6), pages 955-968, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:21:y:2016:i:6:d:10.1007_s11027-015-9639-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-015-9639-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Balkovič, Juraj & van der Velde, Marijn & Schmid, Erwin & Skalský, Rastislav & Khabarov, Nikolay & Obersteiner, Michael & Stürmer, Bernhard & Xiong, Wei, 2013. "Pan-European crop modelling with EPIC: Implementation, up-scaling and regional crop yield validation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 61-75.
    2. M. Moriondo & C. Giannakopoulos & M. Bindi, 2011. "Climate change impact assessment: the role of climate extremes in crop yield simulation," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 679-701, February.
    3. Gaiser, Thomas & Judex, Michael & Hiepe, Claudia & Kuhn, Arnim, 2010. "Regional simulation of maize production in tropical savanna fallow systems as affected by fallow availability," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(9), pages 656-665, November.
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