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University of Fort Hare (2022)

Effects of climatic variability on maize productivity in South Africa from 1937-2018

Awum Awum, Rudin

Titre : Effects of climatic variability on maize productivity in South Africa from 1937-2018

Auteur : Awum Awum, Rudin

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : Master of Agriculture 2022

Climate is an important factor in agricultural production. The world is facing climate change and variability, which result in high temperatures, low rainfall patterns, shortage of water and persistent droughts. Climate change poses a significant threat to South Africa’s water resources, food security, health, infrastructure, ecosystem services and biodiversity. Negative impacts of climate variability on agriculture, especially on maize the staple crop, will worsen the food security status of the nation as most of South Africa’s maize crop is produced in summer and highly depends on rainfall. This study attempted to assess the impact of climate on maize production in South Africa using secondary time series data for the period 1937 to 2018. Rainfall and temperature were used as proxies for climate variability. The Granger Causality Model was used to examine the causal linkages between climatic variables (temperature or rainfall) and maize output in South Africa for the study period. The major outcome of the analysis was that there is a two-way causal relationship between maize production and temperature. The results also indicated that there is uni-directional causality between maize yield and rainfall. Furthermore, the Variance Decomposition Model was used to forecast the relationship between climatic elements and maize production in South Africa. The result showed that all variables have an effect on maize yield, with temperature having the least effect. The last objective of the study was to profile the maize output trend for the period from 1937 to 2018. The main findings from the analysis indicate that maize production in South Africa has a general upward slope. The study recommends that the government should intensify the provision of irrigation systems for the farmers in the most vulnerable areas to mitigate the climate change. Government should also embark on massive campaigns using a variety of media to create the needed public awareness on climate change and its impact on food security.

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Page publiée le 6 juin 2022