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From crisis to opportunity: climate change benefits livestock production in Somalia
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  • Jaabir Abdullahi Hussein,
  • Franco Bilotto,
  • Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira,
  • Ke Liu,
  • Philip Omondi,
  • Jason Sircely,
  • Matthew Tom Harrison
Jaabir Abdullahi Hussein
International Livestock Research Institute

Corresponding Author:jiibka@yahoo.com

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Franco Bilotto
Cornell University
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Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira
Stockholm University
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Ke Liu
University of Tasmania
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Philip Omondi
IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center
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Jason Sircely
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University of Nairobi
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Matthew Tom Harrison
University of Tasmania
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While the livelihoods of Somalian livestock smallholders are rely heavily on seasonal climate conditions, little is known of long-term implications of the changing climate for this nation. Here, we quantify climate change impacts on pasture productivity and profitability of livestock smallholders across a rainfall gradient in northwestern Somalia. Using the Sustainable Grazing Systems (SGS) model we explore 80 future climate realisations, with global climate models projections including low- and high-impact socio-economic pathways (SSP245 and SSP585), two climate horizons (2040 and 2080) and four case study farm regions. In general, future seasonal and annual rainfall and temperature relative to the baseline period (1981-2020) increased for most regions. Mean annual temperatures increased by 9-14%, while cumulative annual precipitation increased by 37-57% from mid to late century, respectively. Grassland production increased with later climate horizons, as higher average annual rainfall together with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide drove up growth rates in spring and autumn. Under the low emissions scenario (SSP245), changes in farm profit were modest or positive, ranging from negative 4% in Berbera to 20% in Sheikh. Under the higher emissions scenario (SSP585), farm profits were higher, ranging from 23% to 42% above baseline profits, largely due to greater pasture production and lower requirements for supplementary feed. We conclude that future climates will benefit the productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Somalia, although adaptive farm management will be required to cope with increased seasonal climate variability.
16 Nov 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
20 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive