This paper investigated how climate change can affect paddy rice productivity and proposed a mitigation measure that may be undertaken. The analysis first explores the potential impacts of climate variables on rice yields by using panel data covering the period 1980-2016 for seven countries members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). It then went on to calculate the investments needed in R&D for developing new crop varieties technologies by applying the methodology developed by World Bank (2010). The results indicated that the growth of rice yields was positively related to the level of technological progress, the rainfall or quantity of water, as well as the amount of seedlings. In contrast, the concentration level temperature and the mass of carbon dioxide emitted throughout rice cultivation appeared to affect negatively the growth of rice yields. From the estimation of fixed-effects model, the findings showed the existence of specificities (heterogeneity) among the underlying countries that influenced positively rice production in the study area. After all, the aggregate impact of climate change on paddy rice productivity was found to be negative in the WAEMU area. From the application of Word Bank methodology, it is recommended to all the countries, in particular, Benin, Burkina-Faso and Niger to increase constantly their annual R&D spending throughout the period 2017-2050 so as to mitigate the negative impacts and withstand food insecurity in the future.
Keywords: rice productivity; climate change; mitigation; panel data analysis