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Micro-level practices to adapt to climate change for African small-scale farmers:


  • Below, Till
  • Artner, Astrid
  • Siebert, Rosemarie
  • Sieber, Stefan


This paper discusses micro-level practices for adapting to climate change that are available to small-scale farmers in Africa. The analysis is based on a review of 17 studies about practices that boost small-scale farmers' resilience or reduce their vulnerability to observed or expected changes in climate; it includes data from more than 16 countries in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The review shows that African smallholders are already using a wide variety of creative practices to deal with climate risks; these can be further adjusted to the challenge of climate change by planned adaptation programs. We found 104 different practices relevant to climate change adaptation and organized them in five categories: farm management and technology; farm financial management; diversification on and beyond the farm; government interventions in infrastructure, health, and risk reduction; and knowledge management, networks, and governance. We conclude that adaptation policies should complement farmers' autonomous response to climate change through the development of new drought-resistant varieties and improved weather forecasts, the provision of financial services, improvement of rural transportation infrastructure, investments in public healthcare and public welfare programs, and policies that improve local governance and coordinate donor activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Below, Till & Artner, Astrid & Siebert, Rosemarie & Sieber, Stefan, 2010. "Micro-level practices to adapt to climate change for African small-scale farmers:," IFPRI discussion papers 953, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:953

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    Cited by:

    1. Assa, Maganga Mulagha & Gebremariam, Gebrelibanos G. & Mapemba, Lawrence D., 2013. "A cross-region study: climate change adaptation in Malawi's agro-based systems," 2013 Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161304, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    2. Hazem S. Kassem & Abdel Raouf Suleiman Bello & Bader M. Alotaibi & Fahd O. Aldosri & Gary S. Straquadine, 2019. "Climate Change Adaptation in the Delta Nile Region of Egypt: Implications for Agricultural Extension," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(3), pages 1-22, January.
    3. Mustafa, Ghulam & Latif, Ismail Abd & Ashfaq, Muhammad & Bashir, Muhammad Khalid & Shamsudin, Mad Nasir & Wan Daud, Wan Mohamed Noordin, 2017. "Adaptation Process To Climate Change In Agriculture- An Empirical Study," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 5(4), October.
    4. Cook, Aaron M. & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob E. & Sesmero, Juan P., 2013. "How do African households adapt to climate change? Evidence from Malawi," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150507, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. John K M & Prince Maxwell Etwire & Yaw Osei-Owusu, 2013. "Adaptation Strategies of Smallholder Farmers to Climate Change and Variability: Evidence from Northern Ghana," Information Management and Business Review, AMH International, vol. 5(5), pages 233-239.
    6. Diego Pereira Lindoso & Flávio Eiró & Marcel Bursztyn & Saulo Rodrigues-Filho & Stephanie Nasuti, 2018. "Harvesting Water for Living with Drought: Insights from the Brazilian Human Coexistence with Semi-Aridity Approach towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, February.

    More about this item


    Climate change; adaptation practices; content analysis; Small-scale farmers; climate risks; Farm management; diversification; risk reduction; government interventions; public welfare programs;

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