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Climate risk analysis for adaptation planning in Cameroon's agricultural sector


Gloy,  Nele
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Kephe,  Priscilla
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Jansen,  Lennart
External Organizations;


Ostberg,  Sebastian
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Kaufmann,  Juliane
External Organizations;

Staubach,  Lina
External Organizations;

Tchindjang,  Mesmin
External Organizations;


Romanovska,  Paula
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Vetter,  Regina
External Organizations;

Tomalka,  Julia
External Organizations;

Kagonbé,  Timothée
External Organizations;

Anaba,  Muriel
External Organizations;

Zouh,  Isabella
External Organizations;

Amougou,  Joseph A.
External Organizations;


Cronauer,  Carla Catarina
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Gornott,  Christoph
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Gloy, N., Kephe, P., Jansen, L., Ostberg, S., Kaufmann, J., Staubach, L., Tchindjang, M., Romanovska, P., Vetter, R., Tomalka, J., Kagonbé, T., Anaba, M., Zouh, I., Amougou, J. A., Cronauer, C. C., Gornott, C. (2023): Climate risk analysis for adaptation planning in Cameroon's agricultural sector, Potsdam : A report prepared by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), 70 p.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_29003
Cameroon has a high socio-economic dependency on agriculture, a sector which is strongly influenced by weather-related factors and increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change. Currently, only limited information on climate risks and its impacts is available for the agricultural sector in the country. Therefore, this study aims to provide a comprehensive climate risk analysis including a thorough evaluation of three potential adaptation strategies that can guide local decision makers on adaptation planning and implementation in Cameroon. The impact assessment consists of several steps including climate projections based on two emissions scenarios (SSP3-RCP7.0 and SSP1-RCP2.6), assessing land cover changes, modelling and comparing future suitability and yield of three widely used crops (maize, cassava and cocoa) and an assessment of grassland productivity under future climate conditions. Further the study outlines gender-related challenges and opportunities in national adaptation planning. Based on the projected climate change impacts on agricultural production, three different adaptation strategies ((1) Improved varieties, (2) Integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) and (3) Agroforestry), that were suggested and selected by different national stakeholders, were analysed regarding their potential to risk mitigation, (cost-) effectiveness and suitability for local conditions. The analyses have been further complemented by expert- and literaturebased assessments, semi-structured key informant interviews and two stakeholder workshops. The results show, that by 2050 mean annual temperature is projected to increase by 1.1 °C under the low emissions scenario and 1.5 °C under the high emissions scenario compared to 2004. Some uncertainty exists for annual precipitation projections, the model ensemble projects an increase in precipitation, which is stronger under the high emissions scenario while also projecting an increase in precipitation intensity. Projected impacts of climate change on agricultural yields vary between regions and show partly opposing trends. Maize yields will decrease in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone by up to 84 % by 2090 under SSP3-RCP7.0 and over 30 % of yield losses for cassava are projected for AEZ I and II by the end of the century under the SSP3-RCP7.0 scenario. Significant positive cassava yield effects are projected in the (Guinean) High Savannah Zone, High Plateau (Western Highlands), and humid Mono- and Bimodal (Rain)forest Zones, respectively, under SSP1-RCP2.6. Crop models show that the areas suitable for maize and cocoa will decrease in Cameroon, especially under SSP3-RCP7.0, while the suitability for cassava will remain relatively stable. Regarding the livestock sector, it seems very likely that the grazing potential will decrease under both climate change scenarios with higher decreases under SSP1-RCP2.6 than under SSP3-RCP7.0. All three adaptation strategies were found to be economically beneficial, to have a high potential for risk mitigation and to entail different co-benefits. Particularly, ISFM can be highly recommended resulting in very positive effects for smallholder farmers, and the environment. Improving seeds has a high potential to improve livelihoods, but this adaptation strategy is also support-intensive. Lastly, agroforestry has a potential to reduce the impact of climate risks on cocoa production, but future climatic suitability needs to be considered. The findings of this study can help to inform national and local adaptation and agricultural development planning and investments in order to strengthen the resilience of the agricultural sector and especially of smallholder farmers against a changing climate in Cameroon.