Farmers’ adaptation to weather extremes in the Sudan Savanna

2017 | D. Boansi | J. Tambo | M. Müller

Published in Weather and Climate Extremes, Volume 16, June 2017, Pages 1-13

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Abstract

There have been recent incidences of weather extremes in the West African Sudan Savanna and farmers have responded through implementation of relevant adaptation strategies. For a deeper insight into farmers’ adaptation to climatic shocks, this study documents farmers’ perception of recent changes in the local climate, and identifies factors that influence the number and choice of strategies implemented. Interdependencies among strategies are explored and joint and marginal probabilities of adoption estimated. Upper East Ghana and Southwest Burkina Faso are used as the case study regions. These regions were selected due to extreme reliance of inhabitants on agriculture for sustenance, and their recent exposure to weather extremes. Through estimation of a Poisson regression and multivariate probit model to identify the major factors that influence the number and choice of strategies adopted, we discover that, limited access to credit, markets, and extension services, smaller cropland area, and low level of mechanization could impede effective adaptation to weather extremes. To enhance farmers’ adaptive capacity, policy makers and various stakeholders need to contribute towards improving farmers’ access to credit, markets, and extension services, and implement measures to promote mechanization.