Sustainability of rain-fed farming systems under climate variability and change conditions is a key concern for policy and adaptation planning processes to improve food and nutrition security. The challenge is to improve farming and tillage practices to enhance soil moisture availability and harvest excess runoff thereby making the farming systems more reliable and resilient to unpredictable risks of climate change and variability. In this short manuscript, an assessment of climate change impact on the agricultural water availability for rainfed systems in southern Africa is discussed through a pilot project conducted recently as part of climate change adaptation integrated modeling of crop-climate-soil systems. We consider the Pandamatenga plains in north-eastern Botswana, which was undertaken with the main indicators of crop yield impact with respect to soil water availability and excess runoff harvesting potential, for the current climatology (1971-2000) and projected over the coming decades up to the 2050s. The indicators of rainfed practices of growing maize, sorghum and sunflower are discussed, which are likely influenced not only by climate, but also the response requiring local and regional adaptation investments for improved food security and increase productivity. The manuscript recommends technical and policy interventions for incorporating climate change adaptation practices, with the view to outscale to national and possibly regional agricultural development planning processes.
Jonathan I. Matondo, Berhanu F. Alemaw and Jean Piere Sandiwidi. International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional Office for Africa (ROA), 2018, Sustainable Development Goals Series, Pretoria, South Africa.