Smallholder Farmers Facing Climate Change in West Africa: Decision-Making between Innovation and Tradition

Par Vieri Tarchiani, Federica Rossi, José Camacho, Robert Stefanski, Kodjenini Augustin Mian, Dominic Soami Pokperlaar, Hamidou Coulibaly, Aïssatou Sitta Adamou
Climate change and increasing extreme events are a major threat to West African farmers, affecting crop production and exacerbating food insecurity. Climate Services, including weather and climate forecasts, are acknowledged as a valuable innovation to support Climate Smart Agriculture. The hypothesis is that agrometeorological information and services can effectively support farmers’ decision-making, improving agricultural productivity and increasing farmer incomes. While considerable research effort has been deployed in the development of climate services, the impacts of such services on West African farming communities are still largely unknown. This paper addresses this lacuna, assessing the use and impacts of climate services on farmers’ behavior and crop productivity within the Agricultural Innovation Systems of four countries: Mauritania, Niger, Ivory Coast and Ghana. The results of this quali-quantitative assessment demonstrate that farmers use the information for a variety of choices with related impacts, which vary by country and agroecosystem.
JEL Codes: Q16, Q54, Q55, Q56
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