Enhancing Resilience of Livelihoods and Production Systems to Climate Variability and Other Related Risks in Africa
Climate change poses important challenges to food security in Africa, and the impacts fall disproportionally on resource-poor smallholders. Nearly 90% of staple food and feed production from smallholder farmers come from rainfed agriculture and livestock farmers. Yet, lack of investment in this vital production system and its low productivity reinforce each other leading to poverty traps and increased vulnerability of livelihoods to climatic vagaries. In arid and semiarid climate change hotspots in Africa, agricultural systems are becoming less reliable as ecosystems are degraded and the relevant structures in place to support smallholder farmer’s effort are often absent.
Levels of resilience, diversification, and risk management within the smallholder production systems rest on agricultural management and enabling policy environments, which in turn should be shaped by reliable evidence and performance indicators to track adaptation and measure development. Thus context is decisive as local circumstances determine what works and what doesn’t. Also, the relationship between the crop- and livestock-focused scientists and policymakers should be strengthened to deal with uncertainties, trade-offs, and synergies arising from implementing various crop and livestock policies.
KeywordsSmallholders Vulnerability Climate change Food security Resilience Sub-Saharan Africa
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