Southern Africa Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (SAAMIIP)
An expert team of climate, crop, economic, and IT research scientists in Southern
Africa is evaluating the impact of climate change on the production and prices of
important crops (Fig.). A simultaneous goal is to build human and institutional
capacity to explore and evaluate these impacts and associated field management
adaptation strategies on food prices and production.
The project team is testing the accuracy of models for staple crops, using these
models to estimate regional-scale food production for the period of 2070–2099 for
the IPCC’sA2 climate and development scenario, identifying field-level adaptation
strategies for maintaining or increasing yields, and evaluating economic impacts of
climate change on different farming systems. This knowledge will build capacity
across the disciplines of climate, crop, and economic modeling in the region.
The AgMIP Southern Africa Project is coordinated by Dr. Y. Beletse of
South Africa Agricultural Research Council–Roodeplaat, with assistance from
Drs. O. Crespo of University of Cape Town, and S. Walker of University of
Free State. Key researchers include Drs. W. Durand of South Africa Agricultural
Research Council–Potchefstroom; A. Singels of South African Sugar Research
Institute; C. Nhemachena of Human Sciences Research Council South Africa; and
M.S. Gamedze of Swaziland Meteorological Services.
The impacts evaluation and capacity-building activities are anticipated to result in
validated crop models for maize, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat, and sweet potatoes—
the staple and nutritionally important crops in Southern Africa. Inter-comparison of
model outputs is likely to lead to improvement of the models. Estimated productivity
levels from crop models will be used as inputs to economic models to enable
simulation of economic outcomes for different farming systems given a range of
climate change scenarios. The integrated analysis of outputs from linked climate,
crop and economic modeling enables the assessment of a range of possible future
socio-economic pathways. It also builds critical capacity among the team members in methodologies for conducting integrated assessments that will be shared locally
through targeted workshops, meetings, training, and stakeholder outreach.