Impacts of Climate Change on Crop Production and Its Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies in Ethiopia
Agriculture is the foundation of Ethiopia’s economy where crop production contributes more than 65% of the agricultural GDP of the country. The impacts of climate change have been observed in Ethiopia over a long period of time which changes the environmental conditions that influence the livelihoods of the farmers and thus the national economy. Future climate projections showed continuing warming of the environment with varying rainfall patterns. The rain fed crop production, which is mostly practiced in the country, is highly vulnerable to climate change. The purpose of the present review is therefore, to review the impacts of climate change on crop production of Ethiopia and its adaptation and mitigation strategies. According to the results of the review, the main climate change hazards observed in Ethiopia are associated with rainfall variability including the amount, timing and intensity. Rainfall variability and recurrent drought lead to frequent yield losses and in sever conditions crop failures that result losses of property and even human life in the country. Smallholder farmers in the country are trying to use indigenous and improved crop production technologies as well as different management practices including selection of crops and or cultivars suitable to changing climate, adjustment of frequency and time of tillage, optimization of time of planting and its density, intercropping, traditional irrigation and water harvesting technologies. Rigorous natural resource management strategies including afforestation, promotion of agro-forestry, and use of renewable energy sources and development of land use plan were among others mitigation strategies of climate change implemented in the country. Capitalizing the existing development policies and programmers, development of research and extension services, improving the linkages between the respective stakeholders and awareness and understanding of local communities about the relationship between climate change and crop production are recommended to reduce the impacts of climate change on crop production of the country.