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Future climate scenarios for Uganda's tea growing areas

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A. Eitzinger (ed)
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This document is a report about the study of the future climate scenarios for Uganda’s tea growing areas. Its objectives are to develop future climate scenarios indicating the adaptability/suitability of tea under changing climatic conditions for Uganda’s tea growing zones, and potentials for alternative crops suitable under predicted climate change. It attempts to predict the:

change in climate for tea growing areas in Uganda
impact of progressive climate change on tea suitability in Uganda
impact of progressive climatic change on the most important diversification crops.

The methodology used in the study is based on the combination of current climate data with future climate change predictions from 20 models for 2020 and 2050. The data of the current climate and future climate was used as input to Maxent, a crop prediction model. The evidence data used for Maxent were collected by Global Positioning Systems through field work in Uganda. The study results show that:

In Uganda the yearly and monthly rainfall will increase.
The yearly and monthly minimum and maximum temperatures will have increased moderately by 2020 and progressively by 2050.
The overall climate will become less seasonal in terms of temperature variation throughout the year, and more seasonal in terms of precipitation.
Under progressive climate change some districts will become unsuitable for tea by 2050.
Other districts will remain suitable for tea if the farmers adapt their agronomic management to the new conditions the area will experience.
The serious loss of the suitability of tea to future climate predictions highlights the importance of crop diversification for tea farmers in Uganda.
Suitable areas in Uganda for tea production will have decreased quite seriously by 2050.
The suitable areas will migrate up the altitudinal gradient which rarely exists in Uganda.
Areas that retain some suitability will see decreases of between 20%–40%, compared with today’s suitability of 60%–80%.