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International Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Food Systems

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Implications of Global Climate Change for Food Systems and Food Security in Sub – Saharan Africa: A Review

NO Anyoha, J Chikaire, OO Ajah, A Henri-Ukoha

Abstract


Climate change is real, and its first impacts are already being felt. It will first affect the people and food systems that are already vulnerable, geographically. This is true because mean global temperatures have been increasing since about 1850, mainly owing to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The main causes are the burning of fossil fuels (coals, oil and gas) to meet increasing energy demand, and the spread of intensive agriculture to meet increasing food demand, often accompanied by deforestation. Generally, food system performance today depends more on climate than it did hundreds of years ago. The possible impacts of climate change on food security have tended to be viewed with most concern in locations where rainfed agriculture is still the primary source of food and income. This viewpoint is shortsighted, as it does not take into account other potentially significant impacts that climate change could have on the global food system, and particularly on market prices. These impacts include those on the water and energy used in food processing, cold storage, transport and intensive production, and those on food itself, reflecting higher market values for land and water. With aid of available literature and information from the web this paper takes a broader view and explores the multiple effects that global warming and climate change could have on food systems and food security. It also suggests strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change in several key policy domains of importance for food security. 

Keywords: Climate change, global warming, temperature, food security, food system



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