Rice intensification: could climate change interventions help African malaria elimination?
Prof Jo Lines
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Rice is a rapidly intensifying agricultural crop in Africa, driven by a dramatic growth in consumer demand. As it is a preferred breeding site for mosquito vectors of malaria, intensification of farming across the continent is likely to slow efforts to control and eliminate the disease. As a major agricultural user of water and generator of methane, intensified farming can also interfere with climate change mitigation and adaptation. Public health and agricultural research have developed separate novel water management methods to address vector production and the effects of climate, but they have never been compared.
We will develop field trials to integrate and evaluate these water management approaches in areas where rice production is expanding in West and East Africa. We will find out if there are water management methods that can address climate change and deliver health co-benefits.