Impact of climate change and agricultural policy on household welfare and trade in East Africa community

The East Africa Community (EAC) region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The region is already experiencing increased climate change impacts,including extreme weather conditions, persistent drought, floods, and landslides and rising sea level which threaten food security and efforts to eradicate poverty. Despite the huge potential to produce enough food, the agricultural production system in the region is mainly rainfed, which consequently leads to high food and nutrition insecurity. Finding solutions to perennial food security challenges in the EAC is crucial and urgent as climate change impacts intensify in frequency and severity. Looking beyond just agricultural production systems is thus critical in tackling this peril. Thus, there is need to apply other approaches such as the nexus approach which allows for evaluating integrative systems where, for instance, trade facilitates food security in a changing climate environment. Although agriculture production is vulnerable to climate change, food security is not necessary a result of low production but a combination of other factors such as poor food distribution caused by perverse subsidies and other trade barriers. The EAC has been able to attain a common market status, which could facilitate trade in the region and thus mitigate food shortages.

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