Cropland yield divergence over Africa and its implication for mitigating food insecurity

Luan Y, Zhu W, Cui X, Fischer G, Dawson TP, Shi P, & Zhang Z (2018). Cropland yield divergence over Africa and its implication for mitigating food insecurity. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change DOI:10.1007/s11027-018-9827-7. (In Press)

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Abstract

Despite globalization and the scale of international food trade, access to sufficient food remains a major challenge in Africa. The most effective way to mitigate food insecurity is to increase crop production. To answer the question that whether African countries have the capacity to mitigate food shortages by best cultivating practices observed on current cropland, in this study, we use the local net primary productivity scaling (LNS) method to evaluate the currently attainable potential yield-gap (CAYgap). The CAYgap is initially used to suggest steps towards best regional agricultural practices and provide an indicator of regional divergence of cropland productivity in each homogeneous agro-climatic zone. Results indicate that under current climatic conditions, improving each countries’ productivity to the zonal optimal level, around ~ 90% of all African countries have the capacity to mitigate their current energy shortages independently. Thus, to achieve ending hunger, possible efforts are needed which include (1) clarifying what and how socio-economic and institutional factors cause yield divergence across agro-climatic zones and establishing relevant practical policies; (2) strengthening the resilience of food access to make national food availability favors households and individuals; and (3) establishing systematically monitoring platforms on dynamics of crop yields from pixel to regional and from growth phrase to decadal scales. Furthermore, our study demonstrates the feasibility of applying satellite-derived indicators for the maximum yield achieved method to quantify and map the current cropland yield divergence by LNS method, and this method could be applied on different spatial level from regional to global scale with reasonable homogeneous zone scheme.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cropland yield; Spatial divergence; Agro-climatic homogeneous zone; NDVI; Food security; Africa
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2018 07:46
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 03:00
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15492

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