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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Production in Uganda—An Integrated Systems Assessment with Water and Energy Implications

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KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Unit of Energy Systems Analysis, Brinellvägen 68, Stockholm 10044, Sweden
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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Development Policy and Analysis Division, 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, USA
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Industrial Economics Inc., 2067 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA
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The Cyprus Institute, 20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(9), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11091805
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Assessment of the Water–Energy–Land Nexus)
With less than 3% of agricultural cropland under irrigation, subsistence farmers in Uganda are dependent on seasonal precipitation for crop production. The majority of crops grown in the country—especially staple food crops like Matooke (Plantains)—are sensitive to the availability of water throughout their growing period and hence vulnerable to climatic impacts. In response to these challenges, the Government has developed an ambitious irrigation master plan. However, the energy implications of implementing the plan have not been explored in detail. This article attempts to address three main issues involving the nexus between water, energy, crop production, and climate. The first one explores the impact of climate on rain-fed crop production. The second explores the irrigation crop water needs under selected climate scenarios. The third focuses on the energy implications of implementing the irrigation master plan. We attempt to answer the above questions using a water balance model for Uganda developed for this study. Our results, developed at a catchment level, indicate that on average there could be an 11% reduction and 8% increase in rain-fed crop production in the cumulatively driest and wettest climates, respectively. Furthermore, in the identified driest climate, the electricity required for pumping water is expected to increase by 12% on average compared to the base scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; crop yield; irrigation; pumping electricity demand; Uganda; integrated analysis climate change; crop yield; irrigation; pumping electricity demand; Uganda; integrated analysis
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Sridharan, V.; Pereira Ramos, E.; Zepeda, E.; Boehlert, B.; Shivakumar, A.; Taliotis, C.; Howells, M. The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Production in Uganda—An Integrated Systems Assessment with Water and Energy Implications. Water 2019, 11, 1805.

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