Measuring the economic impact of climate change on major South African field crops: a Ricardian approach

Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA), Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Global and Planetary Change (Impact Factor: 3.16). 01/2005; DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2004.10.009

ABSTRACT This study employed a Ricardian model to measure the impact of climate change on South Africa's field crops and analysed potential future impacts of further changes in the climate. A regression of farm net revenue on climate, soil and other socio-economic variables was conducted to capture farmer-adapted responses to climate variations. The analysis was based on agricultural data for seven field crops (maize, wheat, sorghum, sugarcane, groundnut, sunflower and soybean), climate and edaphic data across 300 districts in South Africa. Results indicate that production of field crops was sensitive to marginal changes in temperature as compared to changes in precipitation. Temperature rise positively affects net revenue whereas the effect of reduction in rainfall is negative. The study also highlights the importance of season and location in dealing with climate change showing that the spatial distribution of climate change impact and consequently needed adaptations will not be uniform across the different agro-ecological regions of South Africa. Results of simulations of climate change scenarios indicate many impacts that would induce (or require) very distinct shifts in farming practices and patterns in different regions. Those include major shifts in crop calendars and growing seasons, switching between crops to the possibility of complete disappearance of some field crops from some region.

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    ABSTRACT: Concern over future food security in southern Africa has led to various studies that assess the impact of climate change on crops in the region. The results vary according to applied methods and tools. This study reviewed and consolidated results from 19 recent studies which quantitatively project the impact of climate change on crops for the 21st century in southern Africa. Results were assessed according to crop modelling techniques, which included process-based, statistical and economic (Ricardian) modelling. Studies were assessed for their reporting and recommendations concerning adaptation and CO2 fertilisation. Results suggest that the aggregate impact of climate change on crops in southern Africa will be negative. Maize yields are projected to decline on average by 18%. The collective impact of climate change on all crop yields shows a median decline of − 11% and − 14% respectively under process-based and statistical methodologies. Median impacts show declining crop yields through the 21st century. No significant change in the near future, − 18% for the mid century and − 30% for late century. GCM driven Ricardian projections are highly variable. However, uniform climate scenarios project a median revenue decline. Notwithstanding the challenges of such a review; lack of data, bias towards reported methods and tools, uncertainty, scale etc., results indicate that climate change may impact southern African crops in important ways thereby making adaptation essential. Adaptation and CO2 fertilisation could potentially moderate the negative impacts of climate change. This implies a need for studies into future adaptation that consider CO2 fertilisation.
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    Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 01/2013; 52(1):114-129. · 2.02 Impact Factor

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