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Publication | 2020

Climate Change and Future Crop Suitability in Rwanda

The likely effects of climate change are not consistent across the full extent of Rwanda’s five provinces or the crops assessed. However, several general observations can be made. For example, all provinces in the study area are predicted to experience increasing temperatures throughout the year, indicated by increased average monthly ‘Mean Temperature’ as well as average monthly ‘Minimum Temperature’. Furthermore, all provinces are predicted to experience an overall decrease in annual and seasonal precipitation between the present day and the ‘Mid-Century’ future (defined by the period 2040– 2069). In addition to the predicted trend of reduced rainfall during the two traditional growing seasons (Season A commencing in September and Season B in March), it is also projected that there will be an increase in monthly rainfall during the months of December and January. These results may be indicative of a delay in the onset of the traditional rainy seasons, or alternatively may indicate that rainy seasons (particularly season A, September-December) may effectively be extended for one to two months. However, despite the latter positive changes, overall the predicted trend is one of decreased annual rainfall on average, with average annual rainfall predicted to decrease from 1,139 mm to 1,066 mm (i.e. a decrease of 73 mm or 6%).