Adoption of climate-smart agriculture in smallholder agri-food systems transformation in Kara, Togo: Tradeoffs and synergies
Jane Maureen Ngonjock Ebako1, Daniel Callo-Concha2,3, Oliver Frör3, Sabine Schlüter1, Peron A Collins-Sowah4
1University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Inst. for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT), Germany
Climate change threatens food production systems and smallholder farmers’ livelihoods, particularly in developing countries. Farmers’ exposure to weather changes such as prolonged drought, late start of rains, and shifting rainfall patterns cause income loss and threaten their households’ food security. Climate-smart agriculture has been heralded as a sustainable approach to increasing agricultural productivity while adapting to and mitigating climate change. There is a need to understand the full range of benefits derived from the climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies promoted to farmers in areas already exposed to several agricultural intervention projects. This requires an evaluation of agricultural production, farmers’ responses and their farm management practices at the household level. Our study closes this gap by employing cross-sectional studies to identify the drivers of farmers’ adopted climate-smart agricultural practices and their impact on the households’ food production. We also assess factors affecting climate-smart practices in transforming agri-food systems to increase farm households’ food security. We used a mixed-method approach to collect primary data in the Kozah prefecture of Togo. Quantitative data was obtained from over 500 farm households, and qualitative data was obtained from focus group discussions and expert interviews. The data were collected between January and March 2023. We want to foster discussions on the way forward with agricultural intervention projects to increase food security for smallholder farmers. First analyses already show that farmers mainly adopt soil management climate-smart practices; over 90 per cent of farmers do not use improved seeds, mainly due to the costs associated with their adoption. The results also show that farmers combine climate-smart practices on the same plot and find the impact of this combination on their food production to be increased yet risky. We anticipate that findings from this study can provide information to guide policymakers in designing agricultural programmes and policies that can better address the constraints of low food productivity and high food insecurity plaguing the country.
Keywords: Climate-smart agricultural practices, food security, household, smallholder farmers
Contact Address: Jane Maureen Ngonjock Ebako, University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Inst. for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT), Robertstr. 2, 50999 Cologne, Germany, e-mail: jane_maureen.ngonjock_ebakoth-koeln.de