Climate change puts pressure on food systems not only due to slow-onset processes but also from the increasing occurrence of production failures due to extreme weather. International agricultural trade plays a pivotal role in securing a sufficient food supply in case of local shortages; at the same time, it exposes import-dependent countries to price spikes in the global markets. While during the two recent world food price crises in 2007-2008 and 2010-2012 most industrialized countries were able to insulate their domestic consumers from spiking world market prices, millions of people were pushed into food insecurity in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is of high relevance for the EU which is one of the key donors of humanitarian aid in that region.
We'll illustrate how a combination of local crop failures and disturbances to global agricultural markets can threaten food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. We'll present a storyline compounding the 2019-2021 locust infestation in the Greater Horn of Africa by a hypothetical 2007-2008-like global food price crisis. We'll further employ the INFORM Severity Index developed by the JRC of the EC to assess impacts of resulting undernourishment increase on subnational micro-storylines concerning recent humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, the region’s largest country. We'll then provide an update on the development of Agrimate, an agent-based network model for price and trade flow anomalies for main staple crops such as wheat, rice, and corn. Designed to simulate plausible scenarios of shifting supplier portfolios in the aftermath of weather or policy-driven supply shocks, Agrimate aims at resolving key characteristics of agricultural markets such as the seasonality of production and stock-keeping with at least monthly resolution. Finally, we will provide an outlook on our further research plans to estimate food security risks in the Greater Horn of Africa under different global warming scenarios.