Sustaining the CAADP Momentum: Strategies and Policies to Support Household Resilience to Drought


Agriculture is the most important sector in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and will be the hardest hit by climate change. Country agricultural sectors will be impacted by climate change in different ways. But, in most cases, climate change will bring substantial welfare loses, especially to smallholder farmers for whom agriculture is a main source of livelihood. However even without future climate change, current welfare losses from smallholder exposure to drought and rainfall variability are large. Thus, there is an urgent need for the AU and National Governments, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) aligned national strategies and Climate Change Adaption Framework, to roll out tangible local, national, and continental policies that ameliorate adverse effects that current climate variability and future climate change have on vulnerable smallholders. This policy brief identifies strategies and policy interventions that can anticipate and mitigate the impacts that drought, low rainfall and other adverse climatic events have on rural households in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Adaptation strategies include growing drought-resident varieties of crops and use of water retention techniques such as drip irrigation, small dams and community water supply boreholes, as well as diversification of income to off-farm sources. The brief calls on regional organizations, national governments, and development partners to define robust integrated policies and actions that support and augment existing household agricultural and non-agricultural adaptation efforts.