A case study of maize farming in Benin
The issue of sustainable adaptation to climate change is viewed as a window towards a long-term future for agriculture in developing countries. Yet, there is no study with the focus on possible relationships between climate change adaptation strategies, as developed by farmers, and agricultural sustainability. Against this backdrop, the main objective of the study is to analyse correlations between observed adaptation strategies developed by farmers as responses to climate change and farm sustainability level. Accordingly, this book provides an overview of agricultural challenges that West African countries are expected to be faced with under future climate conditions, the smallholder farmers’ perception of past climate development, and the strategies used by them as means of climate change adaptation. After a comprehensive analysis of the economics of maize production under several climate change adaptation strategies, a novel Participatory Indicator-Based (PIB) tool to agricultural sustainability assessment at the farm level is presented. By using this tool, the sustainability assessment is partly designed and carried out through group discussions with farmers and agricultural extension officers, and primary data collection through household surveys. The application of PIB tool reveals that maize farming in the study area presents weaknesses in the economic and social spheres but positively scores in the environmental area. Furthermore, a modelling of the sustainability of maize farming through a Tri-variate Tobit model highlights on-farm diversification and land use changes strategies as sustainable adaptations whereas the other adaptations (e.g. off-farm diversification, migration, and prayers) appear to be non-sustainable options.
Farming & Rural Systems Economics Vol. 145ISSN 1616-98082014 XIV + 164pp.; 21 x 14,8 cm; paper
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