Heat stress could be a problem for livestock living outdoors under climate change

By Ricky Robertson (IFPRI)

Cattle grazing in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.   Credit: Milo Mitchell / International Food Policy Research Institute / 2014

Cattle grazing in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. Credit: Milo Mitchell (IFPRI), 2014.

It began with an innocent enquiry: do we have relative humidity data, under climate change for possible future situations, that could be used to think about a direct effect on animal productivity?

Currently, in our economic modeling, the cattle, hogs, chickens, etc., are only indirectly affected by changes in feed/fodder prices when those are affected by climate change. But, we are not capturing any direct effect from hot animals.

We would like to end up with global maps of some index that can tell us something about the stress that animals would experience under typical conditions at each place on the map.

The problem, of course, is that the climate data we normally use for crop modeling do not include relative humidity. That is not quite right: some of the raw data do, but not in the data we have cleaned up and arranged for using in the crop models. In order to try to keep things internally consistent, we would like to build up a rough approximation based on what we do have.

Read more on IFPRI's Climate Change blog.

WorldFish hosts future fish supply and demand scenarios in ASEAN technical meeting

By Shahnila Islam and Chin Yee Chan

Participants from 7 ASEAN countries in Penang, Malaysia.

Participants from 7 ASEAN countries in Penang, Malaysia.

From June 7-8th, WorldFish organized a technical workshop, “Future Fish Supply and Demand Scenarios in the ASEAN Region.” As a research activity of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project (GFSF), the IMPACT fish model developed by IFPRI, World Bank, FAO, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was delivered to the WorldFish foresight modeling team in August 2015. Since then the WorldFish team has been working to update the model to generate a research paper focused on the ASEAN region with projections out to 2050. In the two-day workshop, 19 participants from 7 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) representing capture fisheries, aquaculture research and administration as well as fish economic modeling experts from both public and private sectors came together to:

  1. Validate the business-as-usual projections of ASEAN fish supply and demand to 2050
  2. Explore maximum potentials/carrying capacity for fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN countries
  3. Identify government targets/plans for fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN
  4. Explore plausible scenarios of fisheries and aquaculture in ASEAN for analyzing with the IMPACT fish model

The IMPACT multi-market model and the IMPACT Fish Model were presented by Shahnila Islam (IFPRI) and Chin Yee Chan (WorldFish), respectively. The country teams then presented the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in their countries and provided feedback on the current baseline results/trajectories from the IMPACT fish model. This allowed for a participatory approach for calibrating the fish model, which has been a focus of the WorldFish foresight modeling team.

For scenario development, Nhuong Tran of WorldFish narrowed down three major topics of interest that the participants could focus on for the region. These were: capture fisheries, aquaculture, and climate change impact on both capture fisheries and aquaculture. The participants worked in three groups to develop narratives around these three main topics to come up with plausible scenarios for the future of fish. These will later be quantified for the model. In addition to the IMPACT Fish model, it was noted that other models could be used depending on the research/policy question being addressed. The AsiaFish model was presented as an alternative country level model. Also, a US Fish model of demand side behaviors was also presented that could be adapted for use in other countries.

This work was supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) to GFSF.

Building capacity and a forum for collaboration

by Kindie Tesfaye (CIMMYT), Evgeniya Anisimova (PIM)

group-work-300x169As part of its work under PIM (Flagship 1) and the Global Futures & Strategic Foresight (GFSF) project, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) organized a five-day training workshop titled “Crop and Bioeconomic Modeling under Uncertain Climate”. The training took place on 7-11 December 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The workshop brought together representatives of Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), as well as researchers from agricultural research institutes and universities from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Participants were trained to apply crop and bioeconomic models allowing to estimate biophysical and economic impacts of climate variability and change and to assess different adaptation options. The tools they worked with included the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT), the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), and Gtree (GAMS). The training involved plenary discussions, group work, and individual hands-on exercises.

This workshop was a follow up of a similar training conducted in November 2014 in Addis Ababa. A third training is planned for 2016. The series is designed to contribute to building of a core regional group of researchers who appreciate and use crop and bioeconomic models in addressing the impacts of climate change in Africa, and to create a forum for experience sharing and collaboration.

>> Read more