Food security and greenhouse gas emissions for cereals in sub-Saharan Africa towards 2050

We assessed the increase in cereal demand and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2050, based on different scenarios of intensification or cropland area expansion.

Our results show that intensification brings lower GHG emissions than area expansion, but gains depend on the level of agronomic nitrogen use efficiency (N-AE) achieved. With current N-AE and yield trends, GHG emissions will increase by 5-6 fold.

In projecting increases in food demand towards 2050, regional differences are more relevant than global estimates. In SSA, cereal demand is likely to nearly triple between 2015 and 2050 due to rapid population growth. This study assesses whether SSA can be self-sufficient in cereals by 2050 under different scenarios of intensification on existing cereal area. In addition, we assessed associated GHG emissions for each scenario.