Climate-smart agriculture technologies in West Africa: learning from the ground AR4D experiences
This thematic series in the journal Agriculture & Food Security contains papers based on participatory action research in West-Africa. This research aimed to test and validate scalable climate-smart village models for agricultural development that integrate a range of innovative agricultural risk management strategies. In this Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) approach, climate-smart villages are: (1) multi-stakeholder learning platforms; (2) participatory test beds for generating greater evidence of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) effectiveness; and (3) cornerstones to draw out scaling lessons for policy makers from local to global levels. One of the critical steps in the climate-smart village AR4D approach is the creation of evidences through evaluation and development of portfolios of climate-smart interventions that could easily be out- and up-scaled. This includes the evidences on how tillage methods, fertilization, crop varieties and cropping systems under varying rainfall conditions in Burkina Faso (PDF), Ghana (PDF) and Mali (PDF) have impacted productions. Moreover, this paper (PDF) presents data on the uses and vulnerability of ligneous species exploited by local population of northern Burkina Faso in their adaptation strategies to changing environments. Overall, this Thematic Series has provided ground evidences on, for instance, (1) the effectiveness of the climate-smart village approach in engaging communities in Senegal in the sustainable development of their adaptive capacity to climate change (PDF), (2) the performance of specific CSA practices and (3) the requirement to match the combination of agriculture technologies/practices to the nature of the given season, i.e. the need to adapt practices to forecasts.
This article about the assessment of mobile phone-based dissemination of weather and market information in Ghana is also part of this thematic series.