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Climate and food production: understanding vulnerability from past trends in Africa’s Sudan-Sahel

This case study from Cameroon’s Sudan-Sahel region explores the impact of rainfall on agricultural production and the evidence that supports small-scale farming as a strategy to reduce the vulnerability of crop yields to rainfall variation in the region. Climate data for 20 years and crop production data for six major food crops for the same years are used to identify patterns of correlation. The analysis reveals that the influence of rainfall on agriculture can be diluted by proactive policies that support food production. Proactive policies also reduce the impact of climatic shocks on agricultural production. The findings emphasise the extent of vulnerability of food crop production to rainfall variation among small-holder farmers and reinforce the call for the proactive engagement of relevant institutions and support services in assisting the efforts of small-scale food producers in Africa’s Sudan-Sahel.