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Climate Change Impacts on Maize and Dry Bean Yields of Smallholder Farmers in Honduras

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The rotation maize and dry bean provides the main food supply of smallholder farmers in Honduras. Crop model assessment of climate change impacts (2070-2099 compared to a 1961-1990 baseline) on a maize-dry bean rotation for several sites across a range of climatic zones and elevations in Honduras. Low productivity systems, together with an uncertain future climate, pose a high level of risk for food security. The cropping systems simulation dynamic model CropSyst was calibrated and validated upon field trail site at Zamorano, then run with baseline and future climate scenarios based upon general circulation models (GCM) and the ClimGen synthetic daily weather generator. Results indicate large uncertainty in crop production from various GCM simulations and future emissions scenarios, but generally reduced yields at low elevations by 0 % to 22 % in suitable areas for crop production and increased yield at the cooler, on the hillsides, where farming needs to reduce soil erosion with conservation techniques. Further studies are needed to investigate strategies to reduce impacts and to explore adaptation tactics.