- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report has revealed that six of Africa’s regions will be unable to grow maize by 2050 as growing seasons get hotter that normal even if the carbon emissions are dramatically reduced.
The six countries, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone which most of them are in Sahel, according to the researchers may have nowhere to turn as few countries currently experience their extremely hot projected climates.
The researchers warn that these countries may therefore need to switch to more heat- and drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum and millet.
Researchers compared the projected climates with present conditions and found that most countries will experience conditions similar to those existing now in other nations.
“For example, Lesotho, which has one of the continent's coolest climates, could turn to the maize varieties being cultivated in Mali, one of Africa's hottest countries,” the report said.
The researchers said the countries need to work together to grow seeds in a productive way, suggesting that Mali, for example, should try to diversify into millet and sorghum and avoid depending on other countries for seeds.
“Farmers should also be educated about the benefits of sorghum and millet, and Mali must share genetic resources with other countries,” researchers said.
Researchers said decades of neglect of African crop gene-banks has also left breeders without access to the varieties of Africa's staple crops which can be most helpful in allowing farmers to adapt to climate change.
In recent year, a number of African states have been hit by severe droughts, floods and other natural disasters related to climate change.
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