This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org .
By Claudia Ringler and Turhan Saleh
Extreme weather events and other climate change-linked disasters have devastated communities globally: Be it cyclones along the coast of Southern Africa, flooding in parts of Canada, drought-induced wildfires in California, or the recent El Niño (ENSO) induced drought in Eastern and Southern Africa that affected 60 million people.
As climate change continues to bring more frequent weather shocks, such as drought and flooding, and make rainfall patterns more erratic, smallholder farmers in developing regions like Africa south of the Sahara are often hardest hit. A new e-book from IRIN reports that mean temperatures in the region are expected to rise faster than the global average, leading to reduced agricultural yields and increased poverty and food insecurity.
The agricultural sector in Africa south of the Sahara has taken on an increasingly complex role in the region’s overall development, playing a major part in poverty reduction, food security, economic growth, climate change resilience, job creation, and improved nutrition. West Africa has experienced substantial economic growth in recent decades, with many countries slated to enter middle-income status by 2030, according to a new IFPRI Discussion Paper .