Climate change and trade – impact on food security in Africa

Image result for climate change in zimbabweThe African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) will jointly organize a session on “How taking into account climate change can help Africa to pursue better trade policies, with a focus on food security” on the margins of the 20th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis which will take place at Purdue University, Indiana, USA, from 7-9 June under the theme, “Global Economic Analysis in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities”.

The objective of the session is to examine the interactions between climate change, agricultural production, trade and their overarching effects on food security in Africa. In this interactive system, trade is expected to provide a pull factor in addressing shortfalls from agricultural production emerging under climate triggered shifts in changing crop habitats and achieving food security. Despite the considerable opportunities trade creates in moving goods from surplus to deficit areas, the trade aspect in addressing food security and climate change in Africa seems to be largely missing.

Three research papers will be presented during the session, namely “Attaining food and environment security in an area of globalization” (by Thomas Hertel, Center for Global Trade Analysis and Uris Lantz Baldos, Purdue University, USA), “Improving the resilience of African countries to food shocks” (by Michael Puma et al, Columbia University, USA) and “Climate change, agricultural production and trade in Africa” (by Yodit Balcha Hailemariam, ACPC/ECA and Jamie Macleod, ATPC/ECA).

Subsequent discussion and recommendations from the session will seek to strengthen the ongoing project activities ATPC and ACPC are conducting in East and West Africa looking at the interactions between climate change, agricultural trade and food security. A nexus approach is being used to develop a framework that diagnoses emerging opportunities for agricultural trade in a changing climate and responds to food security in Africa.

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