, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 123-142
Date: 14 Nov 2012

Farm management decision and response to climate variability and change in Côte d’Ivoire

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Abstract

This paper investigates threats to farm management in the northern and central region of Côte d’Ivoire, with a particular focus on climate-related threats. To this end, farmers’ perception and adaptation strategies for climate change have been analyzed. The data were collected from 205 respondents by means of the Focus Groups method, and they were evaluated using a framework analysis. The main reported threats related to the implementation of farming activities are the high cost of inputs and the lack of technical support, which are followed by diseases, insects, and climate variations (scarcity of rains, strong winds, and high temperature). We find that most farmers have a strong perception of changes in climatic conditions. Their perceived impacts on the local environment through evidences like the disappearance of certain farming practices, occurrence of new insects, and the disruption of key time reference periods. Farmers mainly attempt to adapt by adjusting their agricultural calendar, adopting new short-season varieties, and using mixed cropping. We find that the most influential factors for farmers’ adaptation behavior is lack of contact with extension services and the scarcity of rainfall. Our suggestions for future agricultural policies for better adaptation to climate change are to take into account farmers’ perception, to provide suitable climate forecast, and to improve local technical support.