Climate Change Set to Wreck African Bean Farming
Climate change could wipe out 60 per cent of bean production in Sub-Saharan Africa, and decimate banana and maize crops in the region, a study warns. A paper published yesterday in Nature Climate Change urges policymakers to step up efforts to adapt local farming and limit the effects of higher temperatures and rainfall on food production. The paper found that various parts of Sub-Saharan Africa could become unsuitable for some staple crops by 2100. “Beans are a very important source of protein in East Africa and are very sensitive to rises in temperature,” says co-author Julian Ramirez-Villegas, a climate change researcher at CGIAR, an international agricultural research partnership. He adds that changes in farming habits take time, so policymakers should start implementing them as soon as possible. The study found that more than half of all bean-growing areas and up to 30 per cent of maize and banana fields could become unsuitable for these crops near the end of the century.