Strategies to adapt to climate change in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia: landscape impact assessment for on-farm adaptation


Ethiopia’s rain-fed agriculture based economy is highly sensitive to climate fluctuations.  Rainfall is the most important determinant of Ethiopia’s economic success or failure from year to year. Studies indicate that future climate change scenario by 2050 could also cause Ethiopian GDP to be 8-10% smaller than under a no-climate change baseline. The Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia is a potential food producing area and yet one of the most drought prone areas in the country and already face an enormous food security challenge. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to quantify changes in current and future growing season rainfall characteristics and to evaluate their impacts with the intension of evaluating and developing potential adaptation options for maize cropping in the drought-prone CRV of Ethiopia. Our field experiment and modeling result has proven that for the current climate and future projections supplemental irrigation under optimum fertilizer is an option to adapt to climate change in the Rift Valley dry lands of Ethiopia.