Climate Change and Agriculture in Central America and the Andean Region


December 30, 2019
PIM Webinar

January 29, 2020, 10-11 AM EST

Climate change and agriculture in Central America and the Andean region

This webinar presents results from a multiyear study assessing the potential impact of climate change on the agriculture sector in the region through 2050.



Climate change poses a threat to food security and nutrition, largely through its impacts on agricultural production. To help developing countries identify where adaptation measures are most needed, IFPRI, with support from the CGIAR Research Programs on Policy, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS), conducted a multiyear study to assess the potential impact of climate change on the agriculture sector through 2050, taking into account the likely landscape of political and economic challenges that policy makers will face. The study integrated results from climate and economic models, and included detailed biophysical and bioeconomic analyses of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in Central America and Colombia and Peru in the Andean region of South America. Analysis was done at a 30- to 50-kilometer resolution for a detailed distribution of the direct climate shocks, and at the country level to show aggregate economic shocks.


While the analysis covered 39 crop types and 6 livestock types, focus is placed on the major crops and livestock. Maize is the main crop, representing 36.3% of the cultivated area in the 5 Central American and 18.6% of the 2 Andean countries. For maize, the study shows that in the absence of counteracting measures Guatemala and Costa Rica will have the largest production losses by 2050 at almost 17%, followed by Honduras at around 12%. Losses for the two Andean countries and the two remaining Central American countries will be more modest at around 8% for each. Losses for wheat and sorghum at the national level appear to be similar to those for maize, but losses for barley and especially sugar cane are significantly higher. Based on our findings, we make several recommendations to policy makers which aim to help farmers adapt to the effects of climate on their production.

Presenters and panelists:

Timothy Thomas, Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Deissy Martínez Barón, Regional Program Coordinator for Latin America, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS)

Ana R. Rios, Natural Resources and Climate Change Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank


Rui Benfica, Senior Research Fellow, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)

The recording of the webinar will be available on this page soon after the life event.

Irrigated maize (middle distance) during the dry season in Jamastran, Honduras. Photo by Neil Palmer / CIAT

PIM Webinars

The PIM Webinars aim to share findings of research undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), discuss their application, and get feedback and suggestions from participants. Webinars are conducted by PIM researchers in the form of research seminars. Each webinar is a live event consisting of a presentation (30 min) and a facilitated Q&A session (30 min). Recordings and presentations of the webinars are freely available on the PIM website.

More PIM webinars here