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Using climate analogue tools to explore and build smallholder farmer capacity for climate smart agriculture

Using climate analogue tools to explore and build smallholder farmer capacity for climate smart agriculture

Opare, Phyllis, Akintonde, Johnson O., Obeng-Ofori, Daniel and Nelson, Valerie ORCID: 0000-0003-1075-0238 (2018) Using climate analogue tools to explore and build smallholder farmer capacity for climate smart agriculture. AAS Open Research. (doi:https://doi.org/10.12688/aasopenres.12822.1)

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Abstract

Background:
The phenomenon of climate change (CC) and its attendant challenges in agriculture have been widely document. Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) focuses on sustainable agriculture intensification for food sovereignty through the adoption of mitigation and adaptation practices. Agriculture provides the livelihood for 70% of rural poor in the developing world, so building farmer capacity in CSA is imperative for food security. Studies show that transformative change must be bottom-up – integrating scientific and ethical dimensions, using participatory research approaches that employ simple comprehensive tools for building participants’ capacity to adapt.

Methods:
The study uses the “Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security” (CCAFS) climate analogue and weather forecasting tools. These participatory learning tools allow participants to interrogate and explore their own geographical and climatic histories and to draw conclusions on climate variability. This study examined smallholder farmers’ understanding of CC and their resilience to it. The study consisted of 5 stages – selection of tools, planning and training of teams, meetings with community leaders and community members to select participants, focus group discussions, modelling sessions and community dissemination meetings.

Results:
Participants showed awareness of CC, explained in terms of rainfall variability, decreasing rainforest, increasing temperature and excessively long hot days. Farmers illustrated gendered perception of past and present landscapes, time use, past seasonal trends, vulnerabilities and access to key resources. They also observed that natural resources were declining, while population and social infrastructure increased. Participants modelled the shift in seasons and projected possible future scenarios. Finally, participants were willing to adopt climate smart agronomic practices.

Conclusions:
After establishing that farmers are aware of CC, follow-on-studies addressing the impediments to adaptation and provision of necessary tools and resources to facilitate adaptation must be carried out. This study can also be replicated among a larger smallholder population for increased capacity to practice CSA.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2018 Opare P et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate, climate analogue tools, smallholder farmer, capacity strengthening.
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 09:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 4
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24263

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