Awetahegn Niguse and Araya Aleme
Sesame is one of the most important cash crops which is mostly grown in the western and north western zone of Tigray region. The impact of climate change on sesame yield were not addressed yet particularly in the study area. Therefore, this study was aimed at assessing the impact of climate change on production of Sesame in the Western lowlands of Tigray, with the specific objective of modeling the impact of climate change on production of sesame. Historical sesame yield was obtained and climate outputs from HadGEM2-ES, ACCESS1-0 and GFDL-ESM2M models were projected for the near (2010-2039), mid (2040-2069) and end (2070-2099) term periods to evaluate future impacts of climate change. In all periods (near, mid and end term) normal sowing date was better than early and late sowing dates in terms of yield. In late sowing date, yield was simulated to reduce from -5.88% to -23.31% in the end term RCP8.5 by GFDL-ESM2M and HadGEM2-EM climate models respectively. However, in the normal sowing date the yield was increased up to 33.1% by GFDL-ESM2M model in the midterm RCP4.5. Generally, higher yields were found in the normal sowing date. The response of sesame cultivars to the future climate changes should be studied under different management options. The impact should also be studied by different crop and climate models so as to capture the possible variability of sesame yield. Sensitivity to carbon dioxide, temperature, rainfall and other different management activities should be undertaken.