Abstract for: Policy Decisions and Climate-Smart Agriculture in Africa

Increasing the agricultural production in Africa is vital to the well-being of a growing population. At the same time, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, and halting land use change as a driver of deforestation, is vital to meeting climate goals. As part of project undertaken between Climate Interactive and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, we have constructed a national-level model grounded in existing data and research, and calibrated to data and published strategies for Ethiopia. Our simulation will allow stakeholders to see what national policies work in meeting the dual goals of more food and lower emissions. Early results already highlight some core principles of Climate Smart Agriculture policy, which reinforce longstanding lessons of system dynamics: The need to change long-term trends in land and livestock growth; The need to control both the amount AND the emissions intensity of agriculture; How efficiency and yield improvements allow countries to slow the growth of land use and livestock; How growth in demand will eventually overwhelm any gains. We plan further work to better capture carbon in soil and biomass, and resilience.