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Exploring the influence of climate variability and armed conflict on agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Ruthie Burrows*, University of Minnesota - Minneapolis
Topics: Population Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Remote Sensing
Keywords: population, human-environment interactions, climate change, agriculture, conflict
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The relationship between climate variability, armed conflict, and agriculture has been the subject of much discourse in recent years. Understanding the pathways that affect agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa is important for household food security, especially as predicted changes in future climate will modify these pathways. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable to climatic variability where a large share of the population depends on small rainfed agricultural plots to produce food and earn money. Conflict can further strain agricultural resources by altering land use patterns through factors such as land seizures, land abandonment and economic sanctions. This paper examines deviations from climate normals to evaluate the effect of climate variability on agricultural production in areas of armed conflict. NDVI is used to approximate agricultural productivity during and immediately after an armed conflict event. This paper contributes to the growing body of literature using spatially disaggregated conflict data to explore the spatial dynamics of the climate variability, armed conflict, and agriculture relationship.

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