The future of rain-fed horticultural crops production in a changing West African climate

Peer Reviewed
8 January 2024

Chinedu Felix Amuji


In West Africa (WA), there are high rates of poverty, population growth rate and food insecurity, and most agricultural productions are conducted at mostly an un-mechanized level, with almost a complete reliance on rain-fed conditions. This review provides an overview of climate change across WA and its impacts on key horticultural crop groups (vegetables, plantations, fruits, roots and tubers). The review also identifies areas within WA where these crops may be more or less vulnerable to changing climatic conditions. Empirical studies using climate change models were synthesized and analyzed for reliable future climate projection effects on the production of region horticultural crops. The two climatic variables likely to have the greatest effects on the horticultural crops in the region are temperature and precipitation, with the latter considered to be of superior influence. As climate change continues to intensify with time, so does its impact on rain-fed horticulture. The study showed that the Sahel areas of the region would be the most affected and that horticulture production in that part would be significantly impacted. The study found that the impact of climate change on the WA region is not uniform across the different ecosystems. Therefore, its effects on horticultural crops will also differ across the region: in some areas, the crop yields would increase, while in others it might decrease depending on the type of plant and the ecology being considered. This creates an urgent need to understand and synthesize the responses of horticultural crops to climate change and identify adaptation options. Adaptation actions and strategies are all discussed, education, the introduction of new cultivars, the development of effective cropping systems, the transference of skills from other regions, and the expansion of farmer-government-NGO collaborations.


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Publication reference
Felix Amuji, C. (2021). The Future of Rain-Fed Horticultural Crops Production in a Changing West African Climate. Reviews in Agricultural Science, 9(0), 206–220.
Publication | 8 January 2024