Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies: An assessment on sorghum for Burkina Faso

Ponraj Arumugam*, Abel Chemura, Paula Aschenbrenner, Bernhard Schauberger, Christoph Gornott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Adaptation strategies sustaining agricultural production under climate change are urgently required in Sub-Saharan Africa. To quantify the impacts of different adaptation options in Burkina Faso, this study simulated sorghum yields under current and projected climatic conditions with and without adaptation. We used the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) at 0.5° spatial resolution (around 55 km) and forced the model with two climate change scenarios. Our calibrated model showed good agreement between reported and simulated yields (Pearson's r = 0.77; out-of-sample r = 0.68). DSSAT was configured to mimic four distinct adaptation measures: integrated soil fertility management (ISFM), irrigation, an improved variety, and agroforestry. Results show that nationally averaged sorghum yields are projected to decrease by 5.5% under high emissions by 2090 without adaptation. Major yield losses (up to 35%) would occur in the southern and western parts of the country. Our assessments identify ISFM as the most effective adaptation strategy, increasing yield up to 300%, followed by agroforestry (up to 125%), an improved variety (up to 90%), and irrigation (up to 43%) at the regional scale. ISFM is effective across all regions, while irrigation and an improved variety are most effective in the northern and western parts. Agroforestry, meanwhile, is most effective in the south and eastern part of the country. We conclude that climate change in Burkina Faso could negatively affect sorghum yields, but adequate adaptation options exist to enhance agricultural resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126655
JournalEuropean Journal of Agronomy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Adaptation measures
  • Agricultural resilience
  • Impact assessment
  • Sahel
  • Spatial modeling


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