Adaptation policies may be able to mitigate some of this vulnerability. Taking the no regrets principle (Hoffmann, 2007) into consideration, we explore the advantages of specific adaptation strategies specifically for three crops viz. maize, sorghum and bambara groundnut, under GISS A2 and B2 marker scenarios only.
The results suggest that changing sowing dates may be ineffective in counteracting adverse climatic effects because of the narrow rainfall band that strictly determines the timing of farm operations in Cameroon. In contrast, the possibility of developing later maturing new cultivars proved to be extremely effective in offsetting adverse impacts, giving the highest increases in productivity under different scenario projections without management changes. For example, under climate change scenario GISS A2 2080, a 14.6% reduction in maize yield was converted to a 32.1% increase; a 39.9% decrease in sorghum yield was converted to a 17.6% increase, and for bambara groundnut (an under-researched and underutilised African legume), yields were almost trebled (37.1% increase above that for sowing date alone (12.9%)) due to increase length of growing period and the positive effects of higher CO2 concentrations. These results highlight the need to search for and promote new crop options as well as practices and methods that make maximum utilization of prevalent crop and climatic combinations. The results provide useful guidance and motivation to public authorities and development agencies interested in food security issues in Cameroon and elsewhere.