ABSTRACT

In Africa, much of the concern surrounding climate change stems from potential negative effects on smallholder agriculture (Dumenu and Obeng, 2016; Müller et al., 2011), food security (Olsson et al., 2014; Porter et al., 2014), dietary quality (Tirado et al., 2015), and the gendered consequences of the adoption of technologies that mitigate climate risks (Fisher and Carr, 2015). According to international climate scientists, African agriculture is highly sensitive to climate change and will become more so in the next fifty years (Niang et al., 2014). Under current climate change models, it has been shown that arid and semi-arid Africa will experience truncated growing seasons and the increased occurrence of extreme weather events such as erratic rainfalls, droughts, and floods (Niang et al., 2014; Li et al., 2009). Although impacts will vary by sub-region, there is a broader consensus that climate change will have adverse consequences for Africa as a whole, with grave impacts on cereal yields, nutrition, and health (Müller et al., 2011; Olsson et al., 2014; Porter et al., 2014; Tirado et al., 2015). Particularly in the West African Sahel, scientific evidence shows that the magnitude and speed of projected climatic changes will outstrip farmers’ ability to manage these changes (Elagib, 2015; Niang et al., 2014). Given these concerns, there is an emerging body of scholarship examining the everyday experiences of farming households, and how to build climate change resilience by harnessing existing local knowledge, farming innovations, and indigenous-based adaptation practices (Jiri et al., 2015; Mapfumo et al., 2015; Mortimore and Adams, 2001; Nyong et al., 2007).