Climate change, population growth, increasing water demand, overexploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation have significantly degraded the world’s freshwater resources. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the number of countries where water demand outstrips available resources is increasing.
Background and context This paper explores the links between farmer organisations, Fairtrade and adaptation to climate change, and the extent to which such institutions and market arrangements can enhance the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers.
Climate change presents a profound challenge to food security and sustainable development in Africa. Its negative impacts are likely to be greatest in the African region, which is already food insecure. In the face of global climate change and its emerging challenges and unknowns, it is essential that decision makers base policies on the best available knowledge.
This study discusses the findings of research that was carried out in Nigeria among smallholder farmers on their knowledge of climate change and adaptation strategies. The aim was to assess climate change and weather issues of relevance to smallholder farmers’ activities, views and knowledge about climate change its impacts and adaptation strategies.
Dry spells and climatic hazards are responsible for maize output decline, sometimes to levels below potential yield levels. There is a pressing need to reduce the gap between actual and potential maize yield/ha, especially among farmers in semi-arid regions.
The important role that local knowledge and practices can play in reducing risk and improving disaster preparedness is now acknowledged by disaster risk reduction specialists, especially since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. However, they have yet to be commonly used by communities, scientists, practitioners and policymakers.
In Malawi, production from subsistence rain fed agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. In response to the adverse effects of climate change and variability, a National Adaptation Programme of Action is used as framework for implementing adaptation programmes. However, this framework puts limited significance on indigenous knowledge systems (IKS).
African farming systems are highly heterogeneous: between agroecological and socioeconomic environments, in the wide variability in farmers’ resource endowments and in farm management. This means that single solutions (or ‘silver bullets’) for improving farm productivity do not exist.