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Loosing value: how climate change impacts agricultural value chains in Uganda
Sophie von Loeben1, Eres Awori Kutesa2, Abel Chemura1, Lisa Murken1, Christoph Gornott3
1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Climate Resilience, Germany
2National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Abi Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Uganda
3University of Kassel & Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Fac. of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Germany
Climate change increasingly causes challenges for agricultural systems and poses a serious threat to people whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. So far, climate risk assessments, both quantitative and qualitative, often only focus on the production stage of agricultural value chains, failing to consider other steps, such as processing, aggregation, marketing and transport, which are equally important for household income and therefore essential to consider when designing climate change adaptation strategies.
Value chain analysis has become a useful and often applied tool to assess the complex relationships of value chain steps (production, processing, aggregation, marketing and transport) within agricultural systems, but rarely considers climate change. In this study, we examine climate change impacts on coffee and maize value chains in Central and Northern Uganda. Through a set of 19 focus group discussion and 14 interviews with actors along the maize and coffee value chains we analyse which climate impacts are most commonly experienced at the different steps of the selected value chains. The qualitative assessment is complemented with quantitative climate impact and crop modelling to add an important contextual layer to our understanding of climate impacts on key commodity value chains.
Results show that all steps of the value chain are exposed to adverse effect of climate change with strong feedback loops between the different steps. In particular, climate change impacts on crop production can already be felt and will further be influenced by climate change in entire Uganda. Impacts on production have considerable trickle-down effects on storage, processing and marketing, leading to losses in each step of the value chain. We also find that climate change influences the dynamics between the different actors and the systems they are embedded in.
The results of this study showcase the need to take into consideration the entire value chain when identifying adaptation strategies that help farmers build productive and resilient livelihoods. In addition, the study develops a framework for climate risk analyses of agricultural value chains by combining qualitative analysis with quantitative climate impact and crop modelling.
Keywords: Agriculture, climate change adaptation, coffee, maize, risk, value chain
Contact Address: Sophie von Loeben, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Climate Resilience, Telegraphenberg A 31, 14412 Potsdam, Germany, e-mail: loebenpik-potsdam.de