In 2015, agriculture contributed about 12 percent to GDP and accounted less than 10 percent of employment. With only about 11 percent of its land area considered arable, Cape Verde is heavily dependent on food imports. In 2004, the total arable land surface is 44,358.8 ha, of which 40,294.8 ha is rain-fed and 3,475.5 ha irrigated, making agriculture highly rainfall dependent. Changes in rainfall patterns and intensity, temperature and water availability will have a negative impact on poor farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture and operate with limited resources in fragile environments that are highly sensitive to shifts in temperature and rainfall patters. Already, the wet season has shortened in the past decades, along with an annual decrease in rainfall. There have also been increased soil erosion due to extreme high precipitation events which affects agricultural production and causes siltation of dams. If these events persist, there is potential for reduced agricultural productivity, increased food insecurity, and adverse impact on livelihoods that could drive poverty and increase rural-urban migration.
This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.